Leeds will soon have its own radio show dedicated to mental health and well being issues. South Leeds Community Radio, a 24 hour online radio station, has been running a training course in conjunction with local anti-stigma campaigners Time to Change Leeds to teach volunteers the skills to run their very own radio shows.
When Time to Change Leeds organiser Tricia Thorpe invited me to attend the training as a Leeds Wellbeing Web rep I had visions of Frasier, one of my favourite 90s sit coms, based on the radio show the psychiatrist ran in Seattle. But this is a lot different, because the people running the show will be people with lived experience of mental health issues – not a psychiatrist in sight.
On the second session of the five week training course, ex BBC man Jaz, the station Manager, showed us how to work the faders, balance the gain, cue in the CD players, and generally run a chat show format, with scintillating conversation interspersed with favourite music tracks. I would never have thought being a DJ was something I could do, and it was strangely exhilerating to have the equipment explained and demystified – it’s not as hard as you’d think.
Tricia’s ambitions are running high. She has plans for Desert Island Disc scenarios with local mental health celebs like Niccola Swan, Manager of Leeds Mind. There’ll also be personal stories and opinions by people with lived experience, news, information, music spots where people can nominate songs with a special significance, and performances by local poets and musicians. In fact its a very open format, and still in the planning stage, so anything could happen.
The show will run for an hour every month, and is planned to start at the end of April or early in May, so watch this space. If you have any great ideas you think would work on radio, let us know and we’ll pass them on, or contact Time To Change Leeds direct on their website or through:
Address: Volition, Suite 17D, Joseph’s Well, Hanover Walk, Leeds, LS3 1AB
Telephone: 0113 242 1321
Mobile: 07577 770972