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Covid-19 fund supports community radio station, East Coast FM

East Coast FM

East Coast FM broadcasts to East Lothian and beyond, providing vital updates to communities during this Covid-19 situation.

As the pandemic continues the radio station is finding new ways to help people cope and also provide opportunities to document individual situations.

The station is looking to help its volunteers with learning difficulties and others with complications in their lives, make broadcast programmes about how they are coping.

However, to do this East Coast FM needed to purchase two new laptops to help produce the programmes.

But with money in limited supply and ongoing monthly costs of more than £3,000 just to stay open, it turned to Community Windpower and BeGreen Dunbar’s Covid-19 crisis fund for help.

East Coast FM’s trustee and station manager, Ian Robertson, applied to the fund for £1,100 to purchase the laptops and was delighted when it was quickly approved.

He said: “We’ve worked with and been supported by Community Windpower and BeGreen Dunbar for a number of years, so we knew where to turn in our hour of need.

“With our income reduced due to the lack of fundraising, providing new equipment for volunteers to be able to make relevant programming was impossible.

“As part of our regular conversations with Anouska Woods from BeGreen Dunbar on my mid-morning show, we knew about this fantastic Covid-19 crisis fund.

“It was only when we made the decision to make these new programmes that we formally approached it for funding.

“The process was easy and we’re now in the process of purchasing the equipment to help people make their ‘personal journey’ programmes.

“We’re calling it ‘Lockdown Experiences’ and it will provide a very good historical record of how people are coping with the pandemic.

“People will hopefully hear the first programme on the airwaves of East Coast 107.6 FM in the next few weeks.”

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, which operates the Aikengall Community Wind Farm, said: “Working with East Coast FM over the years has meant we have seen the positive impact that community radio has on the people of East Lothian.

“The new ideas the team has on programming will hopefully help a wide variety of people across the local communities.

“Having your story heard on radio and listened to by so many people often help people tell their story when no-one else is listening.

“We’re proud to be ongoing patrons of East Coast FM and we look forward to listening to the stories in due course.”

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