Somer Valley FM leads the way in supporting the radio industry's emergency fund

  Posted: 29.06.20 at 16:55 by Dom Chambers

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Local radio station Somer Valley FM is supporting a national fund that helps people in the radio industry effected by Covid-19. The Audio & Radio Emergency Fund was launched by the Radio Academy to provide emergency relief for those whose livelihoods have been decimated by the cancellation of work such as reporting on sporting events of summer festivals. Grants are also being given to people at risk during the pandemic to help them work from home.

The fund is chaired by Somer Valley FM’s longstanding manager Dom Chambers who is also a trustee of the Radio Academy.

Following initial support from the Radio Academy’s Benevolent Fund, the BBC and Audible the Academy has launched the Show You Are Listening fundraising campaign. This encourages those still working in the industry to donate in support of colleagues who are struggling because of losing work. Radio One’s Scott Mills and TV legend Carol Vorderman are among radio stars supporting the initiative.

Scott Mills said, “I love making radio. It is all I have done all my life. I have appreciated being able to stay on air during this uncertain time and bring a bit of fun and distraction to people’s lives. So I hope people will join me in supporting this fund in order to help our less fortunate colleagues, peers and friends.”

Carol Vorderman, who is now based in Bristol, said, “After always working in TV it is only in the last year I have discovered the complete and utter joy of doing radio. My home now is at BBC Radio Wales and I’m so grateful to everyone there who has made it possible for all of us to keep broadcasting during lock-down and that is why I’m pledging my support to this campaign.”

Somer Valley FM, and its partner charity the Somer Valley Education Trust, is the first radio station in the UK to back the fund by raising £1,000 for it. Midsomer Norton’s radio station, located next to Somervale School, has a long history of training creative talent and launching careers.

Station Director Pete Helmore, who launched his own career as a broadcast engineer, said: “The early years in radio can be difficult to get regular income. This fund is a great idea and we hope that others will join us in supporting it.”

Dom Chambers, who celebrates 30 years working in radio this summer, told Nub News, “I am immensely proud of this magnificent effort from Somer Valley FM’s volunteers and supporters to help fellow radio people in financial difficulties particularly as delivering local radio has had its own challenges during the pandemic. One of the reasons I was keen to chair the fund was to help those just getting into the industry. I know personally how difficult radio is to get into so we want to do all that we can to support young professionals and help them stay in the industry.”

To find out more about the fund, to apply for it or make a donation go to www.radioacademy.org

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