Thanet is a lively community served by a colourful range of bars and restaurants, a thriving exhibition and live entertainment scene and even its own radio station.
107.8 Academy FM Thanet celebrated its 10th anniversary in April. Professionally managed, it has a team of volunteer presenters, many with a broadcasting background.
On the air 24 hours a day, every day of the week, the station plays music from the Sixties to the present day and goes back further in some specialist programmes. That’s just part of the story, throughout the day there is local news and travel, as well as what’s on and competitions. The station also supports more than 30 Thanet voluntary organisations by offering them free advertising and interviews.
“Parts of Thanet make up some of the country’s most deprived areas, as well as including a number of people who may be housebound and/or on their own
,” said presenter and company secretary Debbie Day.
“We provide not only information about the broader community, but also company and friendship for them. They enjoy our shows and they can phone the studios and chat with us.
The station also provides training for newcomers who are interested in gaining presentation skills by working in the studios.
There is a willing band of voluntary contributors, but the service still has substantial running costs. There is some funding for specific projects, but it is difficult to secure grants to go towards the everyday costs of round-the-clock broadcasting.
Therefore, Academy FM relies on donations, fundraising and grants for the rest of the money it needs.
Any community station is limited by Ofcom to £15,000 of annual income from commercial advertising. Academy FM receives funding for specific projects, but it is extremely difficult to find grants towards running costs.
Academy FM is a registered charity with a board of trustees and a club for Friends of the Station who want to support the service. You can help by advertising your business or by buying Thanet Lotto tickets and naming the radio station as your chosen charity.
There is a year-round diary of fundraising activities. Following the success of several quiz nights held at the Ship Shape Café near Ramsgate Harbour, Academy then packed out the Proper Coffee House in Margate with a music quiz.
Other recent successes include a sale of vinyl records at Ramsgate’s Racing Greyhound pub and a coffee morning and open day at the station’s home, the Royal Harbour Academy.
“We love what we do
,” said Debbie Day. “There’s lots to celebrate at our 10th birthday, and we’ve got plenty of plans for the next 10 years.
For information about advertising on Academy FM, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
; or about joining the supporters’ club, email email@example.com