Connect Hackney

Hackney Social Radio report published

A report has been published about Immediate Theatre’s Hackney Social Radio.  Immediate Theatre secured funding from Arts Council England for a pilot project, plus support from Connect Hackney (an Ageing Better National Lottery funded project), Hackney Council and the CCG. At the end of September.

During the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, from April to September 2020, Immediate Theatre successfully produced 15 episodes for the first series of Hackney Social Radio – a community radio show created by older people, for older people, specifically aimed at the digitally isolated in Hackney.

Immediate Theatre produced a weekly 59-minute radio show, which broadcast every Wednesday at 11am from June to September 2020. It was transmitted through Resonance 104.4FM, played out on their online radio player, and was made available for ongoing playback through Mixcloud.

In total they enabled 178 local people to participate in the production of the show – these included the production team, feature makers, feature contributors, editors and interviewees – local artists and creatives, community activists, volunteers, service users and experts such as representatives from local government, doctors, faith leaders, advisors and community champions. They had 12,364 listeners to the series, with a total of 4,528 listener hours with 1,239 playbacks on Mixcloud.

One of Immediate Theatre’s work includes projects with active older people aged 50+, creating performances and workshops to engage more isolated elders in lunch/social clubs and sheltered accommodation. In response to the Covid-19 lockdown in spring, they transferred their core group to online activities, meeting weekly online.

They were concerned about those who were not able to engage in this way and this led to the idea of establishing a local weekly radio programme that would:
• Engage isolated older people, promoting wellbeing and connectivity and providing entertainment
• Provide up to date information about where they can access help and support
• Provide key health messages

Read more in the Hackney Social Radio evaluation report.

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