Street Kids Direct would like to thank all those who helped make the 10th anniversary of Radio Christmas a tremendous success during December 2018.
Radio Christmas began from an idea of bringing festive music and some Christmas cheer to the Amersham and surrounding community and encourage them to donate towards the expanding work with street-living and high-risk children in Central America.
The radio project was born in an outhouse in the garden of the Curson family in Amersham and, thanks to Dr. Challoner´s Grammar School, we were able to erect an FM transmitter on their tower block, giving us a much greater reach than just Amersham.
Ten years ago, not many people were developing apps, particularly radio apps that streamed live music and so the challenge was great but the team of committed volunteers managed to get us on air at 6am on the 1st December 2008 with Phil Parkinson (photo) and the Big Breakfast Show.
As we gathered to celebrate the last 10 years and reflect on all we have managed to achieve, it became clear that both the reach of the station and the funds it has raised over the years have impacted the lives of around 900 vulnerable children and young people in Central America.
This year was no exception with the final total raised heading towards £30,000, plus a matching fund of £10,000. Listener figures were good with an average of online listeners reaching just over 550 per hour and with a total of around 7,500 listeners per day from 125 countries around the world, plus all those listening on 87.7FM in the Chiltern and great area. The majority of online listeners were from the UK, then the USA, Germany, Canada, Australia, France and Japan. Methods of listening to Radio Christmas online were primarily through the web browser, then Apple phones and iPads, then Android phones and apps, followed by the Tune-In app or service, which is available through the various Alexa devices.
The station had an international feel to it this year as we had studios in Guatemala, Honduras and the USA as well as in Amersham, UK. When the UK station completed its progamming at 10pm we handed over the broadcasts to our teams in the US or Central America. In both Guatemala and Honduras children and young people who are benefitting from funds raised on Radio Christmas participated in programmes to tel their own stories of how their lives have been changed through the generous support of all those who donate each year. Then, at 6am, the UK team took over the broadcasts until 10pm each day.
Radio Christmas is probably the event that involves the most volunteers locally in Amersham and this year we recorded 460 volunteers that helped read the news, answer the phone and emails, produce shows, present shows, be guests on shows and help with the publicity, marketing, promotion and refreshments for the station. We are so grateful to all those who played a very special part in this year´s production and look forward to seeing you again in 2020.
Thanks is due to Cafe Africa, who hosted us throughout the month of December and provided us with a comfortable venue for the station and whose staff put up with us always being in the way. THANK YOU Cafe Africa for your generous support of Radio Christmas.
GUINNESS WORLD CHALLENGE
At the time of writing Will Hickling and Oli O´Neill are attempting the world record of the longest non-stop radio show by two presenters. The challenge will mean the pair have to stay awake for 120 hours from Boxing Day to New Year´s Eve.
For those able to pop into Cafe Africa in Amersham and help, I know you would be made to feel welcome and your presence will help with the independent witnessing of the challenge.