Teenagers with learning disabilities in Derry have launched a brand new radio station.
The state-of-the-art new studios at ‘Tuned In’ in Springtown were launched recently by the young people, staff, volunteers and from the organisation’s partners from across the north west.
The young people, who have been instrumental in setting up the Tuned In Radio production suite and pre-recording programmes to add to the live feed content on the new station, performed a number of songs at the launch including ‘Jolene’, ‘500 Miles’.
They also performed their own self-penned reworking of the catchy Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas song ‘Times Of Transition’, with many joining in on the chorus line: “We are all individual works of art”.
The young people at Tuned In will help front radio programmes, record packages and also assist in the production of programmes at the new station.
This will add to the music, DJing, concert and video production work that Tuned IN are already involved in.
Philip Conn, Manager at Tuned In, said that in terms of local media, the new radio station was unique.
“I don’t think it’s been done before in Derry with people with learning disabilities. It’s great to the first so we will see how it goes from here.
“The whole idea of Tuned In Radio was to give young people with learning disabilities a voice and to build on their involvement in the local community.
“It’s all about everyone in the community getting a chance to talk and other people getting a chance to listen about what’s going on and get tuned in, and also for other community groups to come down and visit and have a go on the radio station and tell us what they are doing as well.”
The whole idea of Tuned In Radio was to give young people with learning disabilities a voice and to build on their involvement in the local community.Philip Conn, manager Tuned In
Drummer Jason Welsh (18), one of the students at Tuned In, said he was looking forward to taking part in the radio station and contributing towards the musical output and listening to it as well.
Thanking the Big Lottery for their funding which has made the Tuned In Project possible, Ardnashee School and College principal Michael Dobbins praised the young people- many of whom are also students at Ardnashee- for their ‘Times of Transition’ reworking.
He said: “It’s a brilliant song with a brilliant sentiment- that you are all individual works of art. You are. Do not ever let anybody tell you different. You are wonderful, unique, fantastic young people full of potential and Tuned In radio is going to help you tap into that potential going forward.”
Mary Lynch from Tuned IN’s lead partner organisation Something Special also praised Philip and the team at Springtown for the work they were doing.
“I think what they are doing here is amazing,” she said.
To find out more about the new radio station visit Tuned In’s all-new website: www.tunedinproject.co.uk.