Bro Radio launched at midday on the 31st of March 2009 and has come a long way in a very short amount of time. The station aims to offer an alternative to commercial, national and BBC Radio, by educating, entertaining, informing and engaging with the community it serves that other media services cannot.
Bro Radio has the largest social media following of any media organisation based in the Vale of Glamorgan, with a monthly audience of 22,000 listeners* and its local news stories read by 16,000** people every week.
Bro Radio broadcasts locally produced programmes, created predominantly by volunteers from the local area the radio station serves. It's the only radio station broadcasting from Barry, to Barry and parts of the Vale, keeping listeners updated with the local information that matters to them.
Bro Radio operates from the heart of a very busy building - Barry YMCA. When the station launched in 2009, it broadcast out of two converted offices in the Hub building, using mainly donated kit from one of Bro Radio's directors. In 2011, The Barry Regeneration Board supported the development of a Digital Media Enterprise, a partnership between Barry YMCA and Bro Radio. This enabled the centre to offer digital media services such as video editing, filming studios, training courses and volunteering opportunities for the local area, amongst many other things. Alongside this, Bro Radio had a purpose built, industry standard studio constructed in the main reception area of the YMCA Hub, which enabled us to be amongst the 2,500 people who use the centre on a weekly basis. In the upstairs area of the Hub, Bro had the two existing studios refurbished, also to industry standard. 'Studio 2' is a mirror image of the main studio in the reception area and is mainly used for recording or acting as a backup studio. Studio 3 is used as a news studio. Here our news readers and journalists produce the station’s news bulletins and record them ready for broadcast.
Bro Radio is an incredibly busy community radio station which is operated by around 40 active volunteers and two paid members of staff (Operations Manager and Income Generations Officer). The team is supported by a dedicated team of volunteer directors.
We now have a full schedule of programmes right throughout the week, offering anything from dance music, local orientated chat shows, reggae influenced shows, to dedicated Welsh language radio shows. The stations shows and presenters have become very popular within the area they broadcast to and all over the world. Our chat show for example, broadcasts Monday – Friday between 10am & 12pm and gives the opportunity to local charities and organisations, police etc. to come in and discuss relevant local issues as well as national topics. Each Monday, this show features a representative from the Citizens Advice Bureau, who gives advice on issues about benefits, pensions, rogue traders etc. This enables our listeners to get advice about any concerns they may have.
In 2020 Bro Radio extended its FM coverage on 98.1fm in Barry and the surrounding areas and in June launched on 100.2fm in Llantwit Major and surrounding areas with support from Llantwit Major Rugby Club, The National Lottery ,GVS and the Vale of Glamorgan Council. The launch, gives Bro Radio FM coverage from Sully to St Donats.
Bro Radio is voluntary organisation, with all volunteers receiving quality training from professional, experienced personnel in journalism, presenting, production, or whatever area of radio broadcasting interests them. This training has enabled many of our volunteers to move onto paid employment at other radio stations and media outlets.
We welcome applications from potential volunteers from all walks of life and of any ability. The station is proud to be supporting two members who are registered blind. They both present two key, daytime shows on the station.
Volunteers are the backbone of the radio station and quite simply, without them, we wouldn’t be able to operate.
We have a dedicated team, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who are willing to entertain, inform, but more importantly engage and educate local residents. There is an increasing demand on our station to expand and improve on our already very successful service, in particular bringing local news, events, appeals and advice on time, every time. In the past, we have proven how needed our community service we offer is. During times of extreme weather and news stories that effect residents’ lives, we have always offered an unrivaled service to the Vale, that no other media outlet can. Bro Radio is fully committed to training, educating and offering life - long skills to our volunteers and to potential volunteers of the station, from the local community.
Clive runs a very successful media company, CSMEDIA Ltd, and has worked with many international stars and big corporations. Clive first started his career with ITV based in Culverhouse Cross studios, moving onto the BBC before relocating to London and starting his own company. Clive brings a fountain of media knowledge to the station and is passionate about helping others follow their dreams.
A career social worker and manager in the sector specialising in children and young people. Phil has 30 years experience of understanding the sometimes complex and challenging needs of those for whom he cares and finding solutions and matching opportunities for these young people is a key skill. Phil also has extensive experience of working in and with the Voluntary and Statutory Sector and brings this vitally important experience and perspective to the board.
Simon Field, a Bro Radio presenter since 2009 and volunteer with Hospital Radio Glamorgan joined the Bro Radio board of Directors in 2019, to help bring new expertise and vision to the organisation as it moves forward.
Anthea started work at the YMCA in 1996 as part time office administrator and has developed a career in parallel to developing Barry YMCA. In 2007 she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for maintaining the Charity as a sustainable association as well as developing new initiatives and tackling change.
In 2009 Anthea joined the Bro Radio team as Operational Director on a voluntary basis, to continue her work of championing local learning opportunities in creative industries. Anthea has since stepped down as a director of the station, but still continues to support Bro Radio's directors, staff and volunteers through her role at Barry YMCA.
Nathan started at Bro Radio in 2009 as a volunteer presenter and during his time at the station has presented and covered almost every on air show. After a few years as a volunteer presenter Nathan was offered the opportunity to become a freelance sales person, to increase the stations financial income. This experience helped Nathan's to grow his skills, confidence and experience, which eventually led to him applying for and securing funding for his position from the OFCOM Community Radio fund in 2014.
Nathan's role became self-sufficient, with Nathan being responsible for on air sponsorship, advertising, promotions and events, as well as securing funding to continue the growth of Bro Radio as a volunteer organisation.
In August 2017, Nathan took over as Interim Operations Manager and became Operations Director in February 2018.
* Based on Vale of Glamorgan Council bi-annual survey data 2018.
** Google Analytics data: January - March 2020.