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Voluntary efforts

Well it’s taken a while to come back to the blog, as the past couple of months have been filled with meetings, marketing plans, press release writing, a bit of twittering here and there and the first of several friends’ weddings.

I’ve also been involved with a couple of great local community projects recently, in helping to promote awareness of some remarkable voluntary efforts.

The first being Frome FM, our community station which now broadcasts from the Old Fire Station.  Perhaps it seems odd that a radio station needs help in gaining awareness, but it’s a pretty competitive marketplace, and even tougher for non commercial stations to make their mark.  Frome FM is currently an online station and therein lies the challenge:  to encourage and educate people to change their radio listening habits.  Easier said than done!  There are now manufacturers producing internet radios, which look and function pretty much like a FM or DAB set, but they don’t come cheap, so tuning in on the desktop or laptop is preferable for most… but not everyone wants to listen to the radio over the internet.

Challenge number two is the money.  Isn’t it always.  To keep a community station running requires a bit of cash injection and in this tougher climate, new ideas and reasons for people to support are needed.  Encouragingly, the recent addition of a Support page, with online donation feature has already generated an impressive amount.  Rightly so, when you consider the 90 something volunteers involved with the station and the impressive range of programmes and content.  As a community station that aims to provide something for everyone, it does an outstanding job.  The website is constantly updated and while you can listen live each day, there’s also a huge bank of listen again material, so please do have a look and listen – www.fromefm.co.uk

Ok, so that’s my first plug.  The second, and pardon the pun, is for the production of Frome’s first electric car – more info on WordPress at www.frome-electric-vehicles.co.uk

A group of green-minded people met earlier this year to discuss the possibility of converting an old banger into a roadworthy electric vehicle and since it’s been full steam/charge ahead.

Awareness and exposure in the local media has been needed by the project to attract the parts, support and car(!) needed to get the project underway.  The blog has also proved useful in attracting support, as has the prerequisite Facebook group.

The intention is that the converted car is on the road for June, so if you’re interested in the project’s progress, please keep an eye on the blog.  New website also coming very soon.

The electric car group has been set up in association with Sustainable Frome,

which aims to create a vibrant and sustainable community, unleashing the collective genius of the town to face the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change.   If you’re interested in the transition town movement, you might like to visit the website and the discussion forums http://www.transitionfrome.org.uk