Zone 1 Radio was set up as a Community Interest Company with a two-pronged social intent:
i. To provide an ultra-local community media hub for people who live, work and study in Central London
ii. To do so within a structure that enables and supports high quality volunteering, internships and work placements that furnish participants with skills and experience that will help them get a foothold within London’s competitive employment market.
Zone 1 Radio has four key ‘Communities of Benefit’:
i. The long-term unemployed
ii. People recovering from substance addiction
iii. Mental Health Service Users
Since setting up in 2011 ZoneOneRadio has worked with over 180 volunteers and interns.
While we have worked with participants from each of our ‘Communities of Benefit’ the majority of people we have worked with have been from the “long-term unemployed” category - primarily because they are the easiest to work with organisationally.
As well as hands-on experience in media production, social networking and administration, we have given them career guidance, CV clinics and job interview coaching.
We have directly contributed to helping thirty of our volunteers into sustainable employment. Written testimonials are available on request.
As well as our continued work with a team of up to 40 volunteers and interns we are currently working with two external organisations on social enterprise projects.
The National Prison Radio Association - Richie Campbell
The National Prison Radio Association works from a base in Brixton Prison. They use prison radio as a first step to rehabilitating offenders. They are very well funded and their output is of such a high quality that they regularly win awards at The Sony Radio Academy Awards.
They approached Zone 1 Radio to be their ‘through the gates’ partner - working with offenders after release. They chose Zone 1 Radio over other more established community radio organisations because we do not have an upper age limit for participants (most organisations have an upper age limit of 24).
Since his release in August 2013 we have been working with Richie Campbell who presented a regular show on the station.
The placement has been a learning experience for both parties, as Richie has been adjusting to life after prison, but ultimately both Zone 1 Radio and Richie have benefited from the relationship.
Urban Futures/The Greater London Authority - Felix Ayee
Urban Futures specialise in placing young people with learning difficulties into ‘placements with the potential to lead to sustainable employment’ on behalf of the Greater London Authority.
Participants are paid minimum wage for eight hours a week for one year.
In September 2013 Zone 1 Radio started working with 25 year old Felix Ayee who, as well as having learning difficulties, is vision impaired and partially paralysed down his left side.
Felix presented and produced Zone 1 Radio’s weekly ‘Best of’ show, which is essentially an hour-long cross-promotional tool for the station.
Felix continues to develop as a producer and presenter and is keen to return in 2017 to improve his social networking skills.