This week is volunteers week, a national celebration of volunteers and the time they give to projects across the United Kingdom.
Bro Radio is a volunteer led Community Radio station, offering local people the opportunity to volunteer, learn new skills and build confidence, whilst providing a local radio service for the Vale of Glamorgan.
Kane McMahon is one of Bro Radio's youngest volunteers and joined Bro Radio in June 2018, here is his story:
My time at Bro Radio has been a fun one. Joining in June 2018 as work experience through The Peoples Business Wales. I’ve been coming in weekly to read the news and present my own show, as well as attend any event that Bro Radio has been a part of.
As someone who had only recently moved to the area, I had no knowledge of Bro and I was excited to learn about its history and about the radio industry in general. Nathan was very welcoming on arrival and every volunteer that I’ve met have been very kind and easy to get along with.
Within the first few weeks, I was shown the ins and outs of how the station worked, and even shadowed fellow presenters to see how they present themselves on air. This was very interesting to see because I saw that it takes a lot hard work to run a radio station and present a show, and it’s not as simple as just coming in and talking on air.
I was also given little jobs such as researching and website updating, and within my first month of being a volunteer, was offered to be a news presenter and researcher. I continue to be a news presenter to this day, reading the news, weather and travel on a Friday afternoon.
In late July, I was offered the chance to present my own show and I came up with the idea of presenting a local music show which revolved around up and coming artists in South Wales. On the first week of August, I presented my first show and The Local Music show was born.
The show would continue to air on Tuesday nights until October, where I was then offered an earlier slot on a Thursday night and on Thursday 18th of October, The Local Music show aired for the first time on a Thursday, with Tom Auton, an artist who I played regularly on my show, coming into the studio for an interview.
Since October, I’ve continued to present my show every Thursday night, with guests coming in to either have an interview or to perform a few songs. This has been a great show to do as I feel like I’ve given unknown artists a chance to let their music be heard, and to help them reach an audience that they may not have the chance to reach. I’m proud of the show and I hope to continue to expand it to new heights. I’m also very thankful for the opportunity to present the show.
In December I was lucky enough to be chosen to present on Bro Radio Christmas, a separate website based station that played Christmas songs. I would present the daytime show during the week, and that lasted throughout the entire month of December. In January I also took charge of a feature during breakfast called “Local Artist of the Week” where on a Monday I announce the name of a local musician who has been chosen to be our artist of the week. A chosen track of theirs is then played during daytime throughout the week as well as being featured on my show on a Thursday night.
Throughout the past few months I’ve also had the opportunity to cover other shows, covering bank holiday editions of Vale Breakfast, which has allowed me to experience different formats but still add my local music knowledge to the show.
At the end of June I will also host the music stage at the Barry Island Festival of Food, in which I’ve also organised the live music for the event. I’m excited for this because it’s the first time I’ve organised music for such a big event, and I cannot wait to share with visitors the wealth of great bands and artists that we have here in the Vale of Glamorgan.
I’ve enjoyed every moment at Bro Radio, it’s such a fun place to volunteer at and I believe that my confidence has severely grown throughout the past year thanks to Bro Radio. I’ve been given opportunities that I never thought I’d have.
It’s been such a great experience and I do recommend this place to anybody who’s looking to volunteer here, it’s such a great place and the volunteers are so friendly. It feels like you’re with one big family.
You can hear Kane present the Local Music Show every Thursday night from 7pm and presenting local news and travel on Friday afternoons Bro Radio Drivetime.
Nathan is the Operations Director and one half of Vale Breakfast on Bro Radio. You'll hear him reading local news, hosting at local events and presenting our facebook live videos.