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Bristol’s youth radio project breaks down barriers with disability broadcast

By TaYBristol  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

  • Paul's Place member Andy Batten (left) interviews course participants Martin Eastmond and Luke Smith as part of a skills swap

  • Young people spent time at Bristol charity Paul's Place interviewing founder Kath Aldom (shown here, left)

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A group of eight unemployed young people in Bristol have joined forces with Paul's Place charity to produce a radio show, highlighting the challenges faced by people living with a physical disability.

The two groups explored the reality of living with a disability to record a special one-hour programme, which was broadcast on Bristol's community radio BCfm.

The young people scripted, recorded and edited the show during a three-week radio production course called Experience Radio – part of a Truth about Youth programme run by youth charity The Prince's Trust. Helping local unemployed young people gain the skills and confidence they need to find work, the course also highlighted the positive contribution that young people make to the community.

One of the young people on the course was Luke Smith, 21, from Bedminster Down. Having been unemployed for nine months, he was keen to rebuild his confidence and meet new people.

"I've learnt loads of new stuff like interviewing and editing and how to plan what questions to ask. It's helped me be more confident with people I don't know. I'd never been to anywhere like Paul's Place before. On the first day I was very nervous, I hadn't met disabled people before so I was worried about what to ask. But by the third day it just felt normal, we all got on, we all talked together about normal things and we got good answers to our questions for the radio show."

Paul's Place founder Kath Aldom MBE, who also featured on the show, says: "On the first day, in walked a group of young men who were both very shy and quiet. Over the period of three days they began to open up and had lots of conversations with our members. I cannot express how wonderful it was to support this project and see these young people integrate with us. The pieces that were recorded were professional and interesting."

The young people worked with radio trainers Debra Hearne and Ali Grant to research and create the programme. The course also helped them to achieve an Arts Council Level 1 Bronze Arts Award.

The next Truth about Youth course is called Experience Performing Arts and takes place at Bristol Old Vic from Monday 7 July to Friday 25 July 2014, with a taster day on Wednesday 2 July. If you want to be a part of it, contact annette.johns@princes-trust.org.uk or call 07538 936145.

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