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YMCA young people and Vintage Radio

We aren’t very used to hearing the views of young people in mainstream media, except  possibly in a very limited sense in regards to their experience as a service user, or their views on a very particular subject. Even less often are they given carte blanche to develop an idea which is entirely their own.

In July 2015 Vintage Radio was approached by the YMCA’s Lead Youth Worker, Sean Watson who asked if it might be possible for young people aged 11 - 19 to get some air time on the station. With no broad agenda in mind and no concrete outcomes beyond the general idea of providing a platform on which young people could air their views, play music and have a laugh, we started to put together some ideas for what the hour long show would look like.

YMCA youth group members in Vintage Radio studioYMCA youth group members in Vintage Radio studio

Bravely, Vintage Radio aquiesced and tentatively allowed us one hour of airtime between 5pm and 6pm on Tuesday evenings for a show which was charitably described by Vintage’s Chairman, Jan as “organised chaos”. For the first few shows the group were given training on the equipment by Steve Pavett who showed them how the studio worked and how to use the space responsibly. The show certainly does have a certain rough around the edges charm, and over the course of the past month young people have discussed everything from the first views of Pluto, to whether the Royal Family is value for money and everything in between.

We have a great news and weather team who each week retrace the headlines and give us the weather for the next few days and we have a sport team who discuss the weeks sporting news and in particular transfer news has been high on the agenda the past few weeks.

The group now has 9 members who play a range of roles including production, engineering and on air delivery. The benefits of this kind of work are wide ranging including developing public speaking skills and imparting project planning skills. Allowing the group to work together towards a common goal and working to deadlines.

In making sure that they adhere to ofcom regulations they are learning about personal responsibility, and allowing them to come into a controlled environment working with staff and experienced volunteers ensures that whilst they are learning practical skills they can also easily seek advice and guidance rather than spending their time on the streets.

The project is currently going from strength to strength and the positive response from young people and parents has been overwhelming. The YMCA is grateful to Vintage Radio for allowing young people to take part and if you would like to listen, tune in at 5pm every Tuesday. The project is free and is open to all young people aged 11 – 19. For more information please contact Sean Watson on 0151 650 1015 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.