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Vintage Radio: a Media Trust Community Voices project

Lisa Farrell (Media Trust's Community Voices Project, Vintage Radio, Birkenhead, UK)
Kim Townsend (Media Trust's Community Voices Project, Vintage Radio, Birkenhead, UK)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 16 September 2011




In 2010, Vintage Radio, a community radio station in Birkenhead set up and run entirely by older people for older people, received funding from communications charity Media Trust as part of the Community Voices scheme – a nationwide campaign that aims to support disadvantaged and isolated communities to get their stories told. The purpose of this paper is to record and document the creation and development of Vintage Radio and its outcomes to date. The paper seeks to outline the importance of inspiring, engaging, and supporting older communities to get their voices heard through digital media.


Data were gathered via interviews with listeners, members, and volunteers from Vintage Radio via phone and e‐mail to find out about their involvement with the station and what it means to them. Quotes were recorded and included in this paper. Information was also gathered from the Vintage Radio web site.


The findings demonstrate that Vintage Radio has made a significant difference to the local community in a number of ways. A greater number of older volunteers have learned new digital and technical skills and this has improved the quality of the station's programming. Participants have forged new friendships and enabled other older people to overcome the sense of invisibility they sometimes suffer from. The radio station has reached out to those in care homes giving isolated and lonely residents a sense of belonging.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to geographical distance, face‐to‐face interviews are not possible.


This paper demonstrates how important it is to inspire, engage, and support older communities to get their voices heard through digital media and aims to encourage further similar activity in the UK.



Farrell, L. and Townsend, K. (2011), "Vintage Radio: a Media Trust Community Voices project", Working with Older People, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 123-126.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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