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Speak up!encourages young people to engage with the world around them – particularly their friends, families, and neighbours – through the medium of radio. 

We are working with DBBC in Bolton, and Soundart Radio in Devon, who are leading on the provision of training, workshops and programme/station swaps.  The project is about inspiring young people to make imaginative, creative radio programmes, focusing on speaking and listening skills in a broadcast context.  The project provides work experience opportunities in radio production, as well as explicitly developing social and learning skills utilising both speaking and listening.  Our goal is to inspire and equip the next generation of social media communicators.

In Bolton, the team is supporting young people to work towards a recognised qualification through Ascentis (formerly OCNW).  DBBC’s project is working directly with marginalised young people to develop their skills and to play a greater role in their local community. Communication is a key element to community cohesion and the work focusing on enhancing speaking and listening will enable young people to gain skills that will help them have their say in a positive and effective way.

In Devon the team is working in formal education settings, and will be supporting young people to develop creative content for radio through a series of workshops in schools and at the studio.  The team has signed up Paignton Community College, Bidwell Brook School and a local home education group as well as performing arts students from King Edward VI Community College in Totnes.  At the end of the year young people will come together to take over the radio station for a weekend.

We believe this is a unique collaboration. Each of the organisations operate in very different ways and in different contexts, and each has a strong track record in what they do.  As executive producers, AHA will be keeping an overall picture of the different elements of the project, and will also manage the evaluation process.  We are also developing a social networking site for young people in both places to exchange ideas and progress.

Our evaluators are Caroline Mitchell and Peter Lewis, who have a wealth of expertise and experience of evaluation, project work and training in the community media sector.  They have been at the forefront of developing new approaches, methodologies and tools for evaluation which benefit individuals and communities in media projects.

They have worked with community radio projects of different kinds, many within educational settings both rural and urban, in both the UK community media sector and in other projects worldwide. They have been members of a team which has, over a ten-year period, undertaken and evaluated successive, EU-funded projects to train disadvantaged social groups and their social partners in the communication and technical skills needed to make use of community radio.  We are very much looking forward to working with them.