Community development

Uckfield FM has been in existence since 2002, broadcasting full time since 2010.

We’ve always been a ‘not for profit’ organisation with all money raised going towards its running costs. There are no shareholders and no dividends, nor any other financial rewards paid to any of the members or supporters.

As a community radio station we are regulated by Ofcom as is every other licensed radio station in the United Kingdom.

This sole purpose is for the public benefit of the community that Uckfield FM serves.

Public: All of the citizens living within the Uckfield & District area. This includes people of Uckfield and surrounding villages including schools, hospitals and all community organisations.  This is currently the post codes of TN22 & BN8 and is in the region of 22,000 people.

Benefit: All members of the community within the public definition are able to benefit from the services of Uckfield and District Community Radio. All aspects of the broadcasting are focused to support and advance development in the local community.

The Radio Station is operated by local people for the sole benefit of developing and supporting the local community. It is firmly rooted in the local area and aims to support all members of the community to have access to the widest range of local information possible to provide opportunities and wellbeing for all.

At its heart, Uckfield FM is supporting the advancement of community development.

  • Actively stimulating local economic activity
  • Within the defined geographic boundaries, support organisational development; helping groups and bodies evolve with local needs
  • Providing a facility to allow members of local community groups to come together to support collective action and generate solutions to common local problems
  • Providing an organisation where local people who share the same interest or passion for radio are able to develop their skills and serve the local community
  • Provide a platform for Informal education, in the form of learning that takes place through direct involvement in community activities
  • Building a stronger and more resilient community to support local requirements
  • Provide training for local citizens in the art of radio broadcasting
  • Providing locally produced original output for broadcast
  • Providing a platform to facilitate discussion and expression of local opinions
  • Actively strengthening better understanding and links within the community

How Uckfield FM achieves this.

There is easy access to services either via a standard FM radio signal in the local area and also via internet platforms. This makes the service simple to access, affordable and available to all. Evidence of how the station advances Community Development:

Interviews: Every weekday there are interviews with local people on the widest range of subjects possible. This includes local crafts, clubs, businesses and local politicians. There are also regular features and interviews with people from the local arts, music and theatre groups.

Urgent Local Issues:  Within hours of the announcement of a government decision to close a local school, on-air interviews were organised to provide a platform to disseminate information.

Local Activities Guide: The station provides the most comprehensive guide of local and charitable activities in its ‘what’s on guide’. This directly supports ALL local groups and events (e.g. MS Group coffee morning, dementia forums and local fetes). It is on the website for general viewing and several items are read out most hours.

Local Travel: There is regular local travel information informing citizens of disruption of bus, road and rail travel.

Local News: Providing local news stories as they happen for the website and social media that are also referenced on air.

Local Emergency: Flooding at a local camp site required urgent appeal for dry sleeping bags and clothes. It was so well responded to that a subsequent set of announcements were required to stand down more help arriving!!

Extreme Weather Management: e.g. Snow or Flooding: The station provides vital information to the community on travel conditions, school closures and coordination of local services. When this has happened, the station is manned through the night to give a full 24-hour coverage.

Local Community Awards: The station organises and runs this event recognising the work of local people and companies. Each category is voted on by local people to recognise outstanding work done in the community. These are the categories:

  • Volunteer
  • Charity Fundraiser
  • Sports Person
  • Young Person
  • Teacher
  • Carer
  • Community Green
  • Give Back to the Community
  • Parent/Guardian
  • Charity
  • Emergency Services Person
  • Outstanding AchievementThis is awarded to someone who has gone above and beyond in the community

Local sport: There is live reporting of local football and other sporting events. Local athletes (runners, tennis, judo etc) are regularly interviewed on air.

Outside Broadcasts: These provide a channel through which local residents who cannot attend through illness, disability or another disadvantage are able to enjoy the event as if they were there.  An example is live broadcasting the children’s carols on stage during late night shopping, live commentary from the carnival and the Towns Big Day.

Thought For The Day – Local religious leaders contribute allowing them to put different and thought provoking perspectives with a local focus

Training: Citizens have been trained, at no cost to themselves, to work on the station in all aspect of broadcasting. Some have successfully gone on to additionally work in paid employment in other areas of the industry.