Blog: Ed Connole

The ALL FM station manager on the scary but exhilarating benefits of learning to make your own radio show

Hero image

At ALL FM we train the more vulnerable members of our communities in radio production and broadcast. The training culminates with a live show. After the training we offer a slot on the schedule to participants. We have trained children, young people, older people, adults with learning difficulties and carers. The list goes on. Why? Radio training improves communication skills, literacy, confidence, employability skills, teamworking ability. Again the list goes on.

Our schedule and our presenters reflect the diversity of the audience that we broadcast to: south, east and central Manchester. We have shows in foreign languages (Polish, Urdu, Farsi, Portuguese, Cantonese), shows for various communities and interests – LGBTQ, Irish, carers, disabled, African politics, animal lovers, specialist music. And then some…

Turn up in the morning knowing nothing about radio. At 4pm you’re going live

As a charity we are always up against it – fighting to survive, less money, more demand. So last year we formed a new company; ALL FM Training Ltd. ALL FM Training Ltd works with companies and organisations to develop teambuilding and increase communication and presentation skills.

The profits from this company goes towards the charity, ALL FM. ALL FM Training Ltd benefits from the 17 years of experience in radio training and broadcast that ALL FM has.

Turn up in the morning knowing nothing about radio. At 4pm you’re going live. Zero to hero.

Our last client was the Levenshulme Youth Organisation. Four young people arrived bright and breezy and within half an hour of their arrival we were training them for the live show. They drove the desk, talked on the mic, conducted the interviews, chose the music, used the software. They wrote, presented and produced the show. This project gave them the opportunity to show how amazing they were.

Other clients include Mowgli Street Food, Burnage Community Library, Manchester Histories Festival, Manchester city Councillors, Pixel8, Magnetic North and Hilton Hotel.

For the Hilton we brought the studio to the hotel and trained the team there. Their task was to write and present the drivetime show. Due to other commitments, they only had half a day to devise, write, present and produce the show. This really was teambuilding. With time against them they had to learn all the skills and produce the show. If they weren’t focused as a team, their show would be a disaster. Tasks were assigned, deadlines issued, scripts written, interviews arranged, music chosen. No time for a dress rehearsal. When the “Mic Live” button is red, it’s just you and your audience. It’s amazing what people can achieve in short space of time. They bossed the show and bonded as team. Job done!

In the voluntary sector we’re always being told: “Don’t rely on grants. Make yourself sustainable.” This is what we’re trying to do. If your organisation wants teambuilding, skills development or even something different for Christmas, present your own radio show. You’ll be nervous! In fact you’ll be terrified! But you’ll want to do it again!!

Check out

If you liked this article, we think you’ll enjoy these:

Interact: Responses to Blog: Ed Connole

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.