THE VOICE of the learning disability community will be heard like never before, when Heart of England Mencap starts broadcasting its very own radio show.
Radio Mencap is a new hour-long show taking to the airwaves from 11am to midday every Friday on Welcombe Community Radio.
It will be devised, presented and run by local people with learning disabilities supported by the charity and its day activity service Mencap Pathway.
The show will come live from Tyler House Hub where Welcombe Community Radio now has a broadcast studio, supported by Stratford Town Trust.
Radio Mencap will include pre-recorded interviews and features out and about at local events, live studio time and music.
Helping to run the show is arts coordinator for Heart of England Mencap Val Rainbow.
She said: “I have done community radio in the past but this is hugely exciting – we don’t know of anything else like it.
“We’ll be going out and recording interviews, doing a weather report and coming up with our own jingles.
“Our customers at Mencap Pathway are really enthusiastic – this was their idea, and this is very much their show.”
And the show has been made possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of Gary Stokes who took on the 40 mile-long Coventry Way Challenge.
The National Grid employee from Long Compton spent a day volunteering with the charity through work and met Pathway customers who wanted to set up their own radio show.
Gary completed the challenge and reached his £1,500 target, helped by match-funding from National Grid.
He said: “To see what my fundraising has actually made possible is just incredible, and not something you usually get to do.
“It’s so rewarding to see how excited everyone is about the show – and I can’t wait to tune in and listen.”
Visit www.welcomberadio.co.uk to tune in.