Tune in to young people on the airwaves

The Tuned In project, which is based in Derry/Londonderry, uses creative arts to support young people with disabilities. The project received an £8,210 grant from Awards for All to set up and run an internet radio station which launched on 26th February.

Aine McFadden from Tuned In tells us about the radio station:

Jason Welsh and Oran Doherty at Tuned in radio station
Jason Welsh and Oran Doherty at Tuned in radio station

I am a learning support worker at a fabulous project you may have heard of called Tuned In. If you’ve been to Tuned In recently you may have noticed something rather unique running through the airways. Yep, you’ve guessed it, Tuned In is now on air and I’m going to fill you in on how this fantastic station came to be.

Maybe I should start by letting you know the part I played in this whole operation—I am here to support the talented young people that come to Tuned In and work on the radio station. So between making them laugh or giving them an opportunity to share their ideas, I am always here cheering them on to achieve the best they can, and what these young people can achieve is something extraordinary indeed.

The radio station was first brought into Tuned In at our Thursday night drop in center, where myself and a Canadian named Peter Vamous who describes radio as “a party that everyone’s invited to”, worked with two or three young people at a time in our rather radio hub.

Now let me tell you what you hear streaming through our website is not exactly how it started. As you can imagine, our young people were super nervous and a little freaked out by the whole thing. If you were in their shoes you’d be feeling the same —all this new, shiny equipment that looks very high tech and expensive. Plus having to hear your own voice coming through head phones can be a little off putting, although some of our more confident young people found the sound of their own voice rather amusing.

Ryan Kennedy, Maeve Fisher and Peter Vamos at Tuned In radio station
Ryan Kennedy, Maeve Fisher and Peter Vamos at Tuned In radio station

Fast forward to now, where we’ve just had our official launch of Tuned In Radio. On the day we had a bunch of official guests come to see what we can do and our young people were buzzing. The atmosphere was amazing and we had our first live show.

One of our young people, Jason, said: “I like speaking to people, like my friends who are on the radio with me. It’s good to get rid of my shyness.”

Another young person, Meave, said: “It’s great, I’m enjoying it, I’ve had a very good experience so far. You can listen to music and express your own opinions. I’d like to work in radio.”

But I won’t give too much away, I’ll let you find out for yourself. So head on over to http://www.tunedinproject.co.uk and have a listen for yourself. I know you’re going to love it so make sure you check back every Thursday evening for a new edition of Tuned In Radio at 7pm.

Follow Tuned In on Facebook here

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