Having collected as many as eleven national Community Radio Awards in the space of five years, multi-award winning local radio station Erewash Sound made it thirteen in six years on Saturday 19th November.
Members from radio stations across the UK came together in Bedford for a ceremony which followed the Community Radio Conference organised by the UK Community Radio Network.
The awards recognise the great work done in local communities, entertaining, informing, and engaging listeners. All this hard work is being done by minimal staff and quite often, a large quantity of volunteers as is the case at Erewash Sound which has been on-air, 24/7, on FM and on-line since March 2010.
Of three nominations, presenters Paul Stacey and Lewis Allsopp took a Gold ‘Live Event or Outside Broadcast of the Year‘ award for ‘Iron to Iron’ which comprised of a full week of broadcasting live from a 300-mile bike challenge connecting the Meldon Viaduct in Devon with the Bennerley Viaduct in the Erewash Valley, taking in other iconic bridges along the way, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Severn Bridge, Ironbridge and Derby Friargate Bridge.
In the Entertainment Show of the Year category, ‘We Are Young’ collected a Bronze Award. The youth-orientated show airs each Friday night with the latest chart hits plus topics of discussion and fun of interest to young people, presented by Amy Dawson, whilst presenter Amelia Salmons, a former ‘We Are Young’ presenter, and part of the team that submitted the entry, just missed out on the top three in the ‘Young Person of the Year (Under 25)’ category.
Speaking about the Iron to Iron package put together specifically for the Awards by Erewash Sound, the judging panel said: “The entry is to be commended as an excellent achievement, well received and appreciated by the community, and with evidence of impact and engagement throughout. Community radio at its best.”
Speaking on collecting their award, Paul said: “This is amazing, but we hadn’t prepared a speech as we really didn’t want to put the mockers on it, because, genuinely, what we did on ‘Iron to Iron’ was ridiculous!” Lewis added: “We travelled from Devon to Erewash and we came up the country following a group of amazing cyclists who were establishing a route for the English cycling network, bringing together communities, places and bridges, and all manner of things along the way, and this is for them as well.”
Paul continued; “Not only did we follow the cycle ride, but we went out capturing audio with them, day in, day out, presenting reports on the radio – we did a live outside broadcast for The Breakfast Show every morning from wherever we were in the country, without anyone back at base to look after us.”
Lewis added: “There was one moment where I was on top of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, in Bristol, with Paul in our hotel base and we were talking to each other and it was actually going out on the radio, much to our engineer Dan’s amusement, but, honestly, genuinely, the nominations have all been brilliant tonight, we’re extremely proud of everyone – community radio is brilliant.” Paul said: “The standard of entries is amazing. We’ve had a look at everything that we can, but this is a technical achievement, an amazing achievement and we’re so pleased. Thank you so much.”
It was a busy day and night for the Erewash Sound team, with Jeff Martin and Paul Stacey having given a presentation on the work of the Erewash Sound Academy at the conference held earlier in the day, whilst on top of Paul and Lewis collecting their award at the podium at the evening ceremony, both Dan Martin and Ian Perry were involved in announcing nominees, and presenting awards to two other lucky winners from other radio stations in the UK.