music-loving youngsters are being given the chance to find their voice thanks to a community radio station.
Redroad FM broadcasts to the nation from a room in the old colliery offices at Kiveton.
It provides young people with the opportunity to learn how to be a DJ, as well as production techniques.
Business development manager Trevor Grossett, 45, is the man who has been behind the station since it launched two years ago.
“We broadcast 24/7 and have about 10 hours of live programming a day,” he said.
“A lot of young people would like to DJ in clubs, but this is another way for them to share their music and to build up their confidence.”
Redroad broadcasts on 102.4 FM and when it first launched received a grant from Quids In, a Rotherham council fund.
It now has to fund itself and, apart from a grant from broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, has to raise money through training and on-air advertising.
Trevor, who lives in Sheffield, said: “It’s been a learning curve for us.”
“When we started in 2010 we were closely tied to the youth service and we used to go into schools and offer training.”
“We still do some of that now but we have to organise it ourselves.”
Redroad has links with a lot of the Rotherham schools and has been involved in careers days at Wales High and Dinnington Comprehensive.
Trevor, who worked in music production at the Workstation in Sheffield, is also keen to establish links with junior schools to do group work.
“There’s no minimum age for someone to have a go at broadcasting. We will help them so they know how to use the equipment,” he said.
It’s estimated that Redroad has 6,000 listeners, although it was 10,000 when there was a breakfast show.
“It’s hard to get someone to come in and start at 7am but we would welcome anyone who wanted to do it,” said Trevor.
Vicky Berry, 21, of Milton Road, Dinnington, has had her own show called DJ Bezza’s House Party for two years.
She said: “I had a four-week trial and went on from there. The show is on every Friday from 2-4pm.”
“I play 90s music and I really enjoy it.”
Following on from Vicky at 4pm on Fridays are 16-year-old friends Jodie Taylor and Megan Williams, who go to Wingfield Business and Enterprise College in Greasbrough.
Their show is called Jodie and Megan’s Friday Night Top 10 and lasts for an hour.
Jodie said: “I heard about Redroad through school and first came here two years ago to do a jingle about school dinners.”
“I like doing a show with someone else and I would like to work in radio. We play our top 10 and talk a bit about the songs and we also ask a question and get people to text their answers in.”
Megan also sings live on the show each week and says she would like to get into performing.
“It’s made me more confident and I actually feel better singing than talking,” she said.
“We did a 10-hour training course at school and learnt how to use the microphones and the equipment. I would recommend it for others to do.”
The girls also read out local news, including items from the Dinnington Guardian.
Trevor said it was part of the Ofcom requirement that they include a community information show, which he presents on Wednesdays at 2pm.
This includes news, sport, what’s on, and jobs in Rotherham.
“In the six weeks holidays we would like to do a production and presentation course, and we’re always looking for more presenters,” he said.
“It’s a young person’s station and so the music has to reflect that and we’d be looking at complementing what we’ve already got.
“One idea is to have a show for unsigned bands to play on.”
“I’ve always wanted to give young people what I didn’t have. I used to have to make the tea and fetch the sandwiches before I was allowed to get involved in production.”
“This is a great chance for them to get involved in broadcasting.”
*For more information about presenting a show on Redroad FM call 01909 808794 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.