Eastbourne Youth Radio
Sussex Downs College is very proud to host EYR: an amazing, innovative project founded 12 years ago by the Eastbourne Business Partnership. It is a nationally recognised, award winning collaboration between local business, the community and education providers. Its objectives are to engage business with education, as well as to provide young people with experience of broadcasting and a vehicle focusing their learning in a new and exciting context.
EYR achieves this through a spectacular confluence of businesses, local organisations and sponsors. The outcome (52 hours of continuous live broadcasting) involves hourly slots running across three days and two nights; these include (amongst others) dramas, interviews, musical performances, documentaries, phone ins, live DJ work, news and current affairs, factual programmes, poetry readings, battle of the bands, community broadcasts and political debate; Participants (roughly 1,000) range in age from 7 to 21, and the outcome is both spectacular and unprecedented in the UK.
Creative Media Production students have a major role in this work, and for four days in November the media department becomes a very busy full-time radio station! As well as working with partner broadcasters to develop, refine, edit and prepare content for broadcast, students ensure that the show goes out as it should, involving complex, collaborative work. As well as the roles you'd expect from a production professional, other concerns need managing and resolving; these range from ensuring that licenses are applied for and secured; ensuring that FM masts three miles away are in position and functional; contingency plans in case anybody fails to materialise - right through to helping with stage fright experienced by young people who realise the magnitude of 30,000 listeners and have a poem to recite.
EYR uses an RSL and so the FM signal (on 87.7FM) aims to reach a range of around 8 miles (or until there's a hill in the way) from the college. In case you are out of reach, or only have DAB, it is also streamed live online - details on the website.