WHILE others were plonking themselves in bath tubs full of baked beans or going to work in their pyjamas, Duns-based Generate Radio marked Red Nose Day 2011 by opening up their Market Square studio and inviting people to donate for a spot on the airwaves.
And they had plenty of takers who lined up for their shot at radio stardom, helping Generate to contribute £400 towards this year’s record breaking Comic Relief total of £74 million.
One of the men behind the radio station, Kyle Wilson, said he was really pleased with the response to their fundraising event, particularly as the station’s aim has always been to get the local community involved in things as much as possible.
He said: “A load of people came in during the course of Friday, things got a bit crowded but it was great that there was so much interest. Initially we set ourselves a fundraising target of £200 so to double that is fantastic.
“It was a really, really busy day and we just about managed to keep it all under control.”
Donating to Comic Relief for a chance to get behind the mic led to some interesting shows being broadcast on Friday. Would-be DJs included pupils from Duns Primary School who requested their favourite chart hits; local groups letting people know of forthcoming events; Berwickshire businesses giving themselves a plug and friends just wanting to interview each other.
The response to the event shows just how far Generate has come in the past year since setting up a home for itself above the hardware shop in Duns town centre.
And things look set to go up a further notch as the radio station gears up for an upgrade to FM status, which would see its profile reach new heights.
At the moment Generate Radio is run solely by volunteers,including the many DJs whose shows make up an ever-growing schedule.
Presenters on the new Generate rota include Leonard Harper Gow with his Lunch Club from 12-2pm on Mondays; Coleen Henderson-Heywood from 12-2 on Tuesdays; Ewan Gosling and Ben Williams on Fridays from 7 and 9pm; Iain Jefferson with his Electro House Party from 9pm-11pm on Saturdays and Kyle and Generate co-founder Oscar MacAndrew with their weekday breakfast show from 8-10am.
In all, Generate broadcast between 40 and 50 hours of live radio a week now and Kyle said it was crucial to build up this programming if they want to secure their FM status.
This doesn’t come cheap though and to try and generate some funds the radio station has recently launched ‘Generate Growth’ a scheme targeting local businesses and encouraging them to get on board and help take Generate to the next level.
“Adding to our schedule is a really important thing for us,” Kyle continued.
“We need to show people what we’re about and that we’re getting bigger and better. We’re hoping that businesses can lend a helping hand and in return we’ll support them when we become an FM station. We’re looking at getting to that stage by the summer so we’ve not got too long.
“At the moment we’ve got 35 volunteers working for us, some of whom got their Youth Volunteering Awards recently for doing up to 200 hours of service.We’re just really pleased that so many people have chosen to get involved and we’ve got a really good range of ages.
“I think it helps that we’re based where we are as we’re right in the centre of Duns but also right in the centre of Berwickshire too.”
If you want to find out more about Generate Radio, donate to Generate Growth or listen in visit www.generateradio.com.