Looking back at Local Radio Day 2023’s Community Heroes

Local Radio Day 2023 is reporting a resounding success, with over 120 stations taking part this year.

They not only told stories of “Community Heroes”, but also the power of local radio itself throughout the day on 20th October.

On the run-up to the day, the charity Sound Vision showcased some truly exceptional radio stations as Community Heroes.

Their stories exemplified the essence of local radio and included; Awaaz FM, who have worked tirelessly to represent the Goan community, not only locally but worldwide, and Cando FM, the heartbeat of Furness, Cumbria, who stood out as a platform for diverse voices and open dialogue.

Deal Radio used this year’s theme to ask their community to nominate local heroes and received so many nominations that it was not possible to get them all on-air.

Many other stations joined in, sharing their stories of community engagement, charity initiatives, and inclusive programming. From live broadcasts to interactive community events, the spirit of Local Radio Day was alive and well across the UK.

The whole event served as a testament to the power of local media, a reminder of the significant impact that local radio stations have on their communities, showcasing their unwavering dedication to creating connections and making a positive difference. 

Maxine Stride, who leads Local Radio Day as a Sound Vision Trustee said: “The response was truly inspiring, enthusiasm echoing throughout the country. As Local Radio Day 2023 wraps up, despite turbulent times we are left with the lasting impression that Local Radio in the UK remains resilient.

“The growth in stations wanting to showcase their work in the community is a testament to that. This year we welcomed 42 stations participating for the first time. Until the next Local Radio Day, let’s continue to honour and support these extraordinary stations that make our communities stronger and better connected.”

Sound Vision’s CEO Dom Chambers said, “I’d like to thank the team for putting in so many volunteer hours to highlight the phenomenal work local radio does to not only reflect the life of the communities they serve but also to strengthen those communities.”

Dom, who hosted a discussion on the future of local radio at the Community Media Festival in Leicester, went on to say, “Local broadcasting in the UK is a rapidly evolving landscape. Changes are going on which are not always easy to understand, and loyal audiences can be understandably baffled when their locally trusted voices are no longer there.

“Many of us need to change our perceptions of what local radio is. Reviewed with fresh eyes, as Local Radio Day has proved, this sector is thriving across the UK. There have never been more locally trusted voices filling our airways and podcasts. They are out there being discovered and heard.”

For Local Radio Day 2023, Sound Vision partnered with TM Studios and Devaweb who produced sung jingles and audio imaging for 2023.

They were also supported by RadioToday, the Community Media Association, Local Media Network, The Radio Hub, The Radio Academy, Local Radio Support and local radio stations across the country.

To register for 2024, visit www.localradioday.co.uk and to offer partnership support email organiser Maxine Stride at LRD@soundvision.charity