The year GFM dream became a nightmare: Derrick Francis urges businesses and people to back community radio
AFTER the demise of Vibes FM, an illegal community radio station in Gloucester that specialised in playing urban music, I had a dream in 1997 that Gloucester had a legal community radio station that specialised in urban music coupled with news, information and advice to empower, educate and entertain.
I embarked on what was to become learning curve for me and for many of those that I approached to support setting up a community radio station in Gloucester named Gloucester FM AKA GFM.
Many questioned the need for a community station with other local stations around.
Community radio facilitates discussion and the expression of opinions that might not be aired on mainstream radio stations, provides training and better understanding of the community and the strengthening of links within it.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
On Friday, October 6 2000 GFM became Gloucester's first community radio station.
The 22-day restricted service licence broadcast coincided with Black History Month..
Our resources, energy and time are devoted overwhelmingly to non-broadcast activity. The volunteers make the radio. It's the board role is to enable them to do it.
From 2001 to 2005 GFM had an annual 28-day restricted service license which coincided with the Gloucester festival and Jamaican independence celebration.
GFM secured its full-time community radio licence in November 2005 and commenced full time broadcasting on Friday, July 21.
Since we began full-time broadcasting the cost to broadcast have grown each year. The monthly running cost is now nearly £2,000. There have been 14 community radio stations that have closed or handed back their license including the Forest of Dean radio.
The fact GFM is still broadcasting is an achievement in the current economic climate, but we need more businesses to advertise with us – all the revenue goes toward keeping GFM on air.
We are seeking a minute-taker and fundraising volunteer with experience in writing funding bids and fundraising to join the board, more daytime volunteer presenters and volunteers who would like to read the news, young people for the young people community link show, someone with experience to manage and maintain GFM IT equipment and someone to develop and manage GFM website, Facebook and Twitter.
This year is without doubt when the dream I had in 1997 became a nightmare, It's our belief GFM is an invaluable asset to the city of Gloucester and should we have to close down and hand back our license, it will be an enormous loss to the city of Gloucester.
Donate online via www.gloucesterfm.com, or telephone 01452 525425.