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Open College Network West Midlands Centres: Lifetime learning for all

Community Radio

Open College Network West Midlands Pioneering the Range and Flexibility of Qualifications

 

 
Heather Bellamy at Cross Rhythms explains how working in partnership with Open College Network West Midlands has resulted in some amazing outcomes.
 
“Open College Network West Midlands were the ideal partner for us because they are authentic in how they outwork their positioning statement; they truly are, ‘passionate about enabling learning and releasing the potential of people and their communities”
 
Heather Bellamy, Executive Management Cross Rhythms
 
Cross Rhythms, based in Stoke-on-Trent, has been pioneering a brand new model of community radio under-girded by Christian values since 2002 when we were part of the government’s pilot scheme. Ofcom have said that our station is, ‘clearly providing a strong community-focused service with strong community links, social gain and volunteer involvement’. Ofcom have allowed us to build a partnership/franchise model and so we partner stations in Plymouth and Teesside, but don’t own them, sharing activities and best practice and collaborating for greater effectiveness.
 
Our focus is to make a positive difference to communities by using media to deliver content that is applicable to the needs of everyday lives; promoting community issues, priorities, services and opportunities.
 
We also aim to give the local community access to training opportunities in a media environment and so in 2012, working in partnership with Open College Network West Midlands, we were able to take the training opportunities we offer to the next level and deliver qualifications.
 
Open College Network West Midlands were the ideal partner for us because they are authentic in how they outwork their positioning statement; they truly are, ‘passionate about enabling learning and releasing the potential of people and their communities. We have found their wide range of qualifications and flexibility in how the qualifications can be used in designing a course perfect for what we wanted to achieve. The qualifications we have used have been great to deliver in the workplace, with an emphasis on practical work as well as theory and the team have given us excellent support in everything we have done.
 
Our first student, Emily, completed a Level 3 Award in Progression in Radio Production and Broadcasting in December 2012. She said, “I have so many highlights from the course!! One of my favourite units was about how to make a discussion programme. For this I had to research all about the role and then organised and ran a 30 minute live discussion with the Police Commissioner candidates.” After completing her course, Emily worked with us as a volunteer for 12 months. In January 2014 she moved back to Chelmsford, where she has gained the position of Drive Time presenter and now Station Manager of the community radio station there. She said that doing the course with us had helped to open the doors for her in her employment as Station Manager and that, “I have confidence in interacting with a wide variety of people now and am certainly more confident when talking on air. The course taught me editing skills and knowledge of how to run a radio station.”
 
 
Further information about Cross Rhythms can be found through the following links:
 
 
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