Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity's transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.

Community radio station still needs help to raise money to improve disabled access

Date posted: October 1, 2018

Source FM (96.1 FM) has a few just days left of its Crowdfunder campaign to make it easier for for people with disabilities to make radio shows. Source FM’s ‘on air’ sign shone red in 2009 and has been enabling people in the community to present shows ever since. Having several presenters with a range of disabilities has highlighted that the station facilities aren’t fully accessible, so the organisation has been running a campaign to raise £10,000 to upgrade its second studio to meet those needs.

The importance of the issue is highlighted by Scope, who say that half of disabled people in the UK feel excluded from society. This campaign will allow people of all abilities to be included in community radio in Falmouth and Penryn, ensuring that less people feel excluded. Based in a converted shipping container, Source FM has achieved a lot on a small budget, but the station is keen to make sure an accessibility upgrade is not done on a low budget and instead suitable investment made to make the organisation fit for purpose in the future.

Richard Jones, a presenter on Source FM, said: “Source FM allows me to play the music I like to listen to. I can’t get up to the desk properly and it’s really difficult to move the controls on the mouse. It would be easier if I could just move in rather than moving around and positioning, which takes a bit of time.”
One of the Directors of Source FM, Matt Ashdown, said, “What I love about Source FM is that we have presenters from all over Penryn and Falmouth wanting to contribute to the community no matter what their situation or background. Taking part in radio is a way to have fun, meet others, develop skills, have a say in the community, and combat mental health issues such as loneliness and social anxiety. For those reasons it’s important that anyone can take part for many years to come, which means we need to make the station fully accessible. If we don’t, we aren’t giving everyone a voice or the equal opportunity to participate in broadcasting. The success of this Crowdfunder campaign would be an essential step forward.”

By reaching the £10,000 target, the station will be able to modify the layout of one of the studios to make the mixing desk easily accessible, allowing wheelchairs (including motorised ones) to directly access the main presentation positions rather than turning to one side allowing limited room for manoeuvre. Currently support is often needed. The station will also be upgrading the mixing desk and controls to a more modern, easy to use and accessible specification. The station hopes that by improving accessibility, more people with disabilities will be encouraged to take part.

Matt Ashdown said: “Activities such as radio are a great way for anyone to get involved in their community, and nobody should have to face barriers to joining in with these activities. We still have £7000 to raise, so please have a look at the fantastic rewards and make a pledge. We’d like to thank everyone that has kindly contributed so far.”

The Crowdfunder campaign includes a variety of rewards, and ends just after midnight on 30 September but pledges still accepted. Source FM state that in some cases, pledges will enable match funding to be applied for so that some contributions can be doubled. To find out more and to make a pledge, you can visit their Crowdfunder page here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/studio-accessibility-upgrade