@PenistoneFM is participating in the ITV’s the #Peoples’Project. Come and support!

Yes, I've been in charge of this. Photo from Unsplash
Yes, I’ve been in charge of this. Photo from Unsplash

Hi all:

Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember that a few months back I wrote a post about volunteering and how I’d started working at the local radio station (Penistone FM). Just in case, and as the post was in the previous blog, I’ve added it to the end of this one so you can read it if you fancy a reminder or want to know how I felt at the time.

Although some things have got in the way of my training there at times, Andy Riley, my mentor, has been a star showing me the ropes. I’ve also joined Jo Ruston on Sunday nights for her ‘Country Routes’ programme (from 8 to 10 pm, a must for all country music lovers), and more recently I started having some training sessions with Steve Dobson, who’s been going through some technical information and we’ve been talking about interviews. It’s good to see the diverse styles of the presenters as this will help create my own in the future.

Under Andy’s and the rest of the team’s guidance, the last week of January and in February I was facilitating the three hour programme (Tuesday 5 to 8 pm) on my own (at least live on air, although with plenty of technical support). The 16th of February was my last official day under Andy’s supervision, as he is off to train more volunteers and we’ve agreed that once I’m back in the UK and after some reminder sessions with Steve Dobson, I might be taking over my own programme. I’ll update you on that as soon as it is confirmed, as I hope you’ll give me a hand with content for the programmes and you’ll listen (even if it has to be on-line).

What have I learned? The joy of trying something new. How many things are going on locally that had gone unnoticed under my radar before. The enthusiasm of the local community. The importance of keeping an eye on the clock, thinking quick on your feet and making sure that you’re there in time for the news (no matter what). The need to think before you talk (and/or have a good excuse). And how dedicated people are  to the project. Thanks to the whole Penistone FM team for making me feel so welcome.

As I mentioned in the article I attach, the radio station is run by volunteers, and although that means we don’t get paid, the expenses for any projects and for the everyday running of the place have to come from somewhere. Advertising is a route but they’re always exploring funding options. And this year, Penistone FM is participating in ITV’s the Peoples’ Project. Although you’ll only be able to vote if you have an address in the UK, I thought I’d share as it is a great initiative and you can check the variety of projects there are.

This is the official write-up for Penistone FM (unfortunately I can’t watch the video here in Spain but if you do, tell me what it’s like. And don’t worry, I’m not in it!)

Penistone FM and our project “Evolve” is one of only five groups in South Yorkshire that have been shortlisted to compete for the public vote and the Big Lottery cash in ITV’s The Peoples Projects TV competition. Evolve training project at Penistone FM aims to make community radio more accessible to local people and give new communication skills and interests to rural isolated villages. We want to be able to offer local people the same chances to learn new skills, enjoy a fun social activity and make new friends. Please visit

 – click on the link and vote for us.

And you can watch the film there too.

And if you want to visit the site for Peoples’ Project, here it is (Evolve is one of South Yorkshire projects)

And here, the original post:
Have you thought about #volunteering? I’m on the radio! @PenistoneFM
Hi all:

As you all know, life can take some funny detours on the way to wherever it is taking us. I don’t know you, but I have found myself at times at an impasse, in between things. Things are moving but not quite ready yet for the next step or one needs to regroup and rework ones plans.

And there I was. As I suppose many of you, I receive notifications from quite a few places. LinkedIn regularly sends me e-mails suggesting jobs nearby. As I haven’t been at home very much in the last few months I hadn’t paid them that much attention, but just before I went on my holiday I realised they were suggesting volunteering jobs in the area where I live. I’d always thought I’d volunteer at some point ‘when I had more time’ but recently I’ve decided not to put off things because there’s never enough time unless we make the time. I checked Do It organisation and there were quite a few things I was interested in, some very local. As so far I’d always worked away from Penistone (South Yorkshire, UK), where I live, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to get more involved.

The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio
The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio

I applied for a job in Penistone FM, went to visit and meet Martin Sugden who agreed to let me try, and now I’m going once a week, on Tuesdays from 5 pm to 8 pm, and sit at a desk under the watchful eye of Andy Riley, who is a fantastic trainer and knows well how to make people feel at ease.

This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter...
This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter…

Penistone FM (you can check also in Wikipedia) was formed in 2005 as a non-for-profit community radio station to broadcast around the Penistone and surrounding area on 95.7 FM. The process of obtaining the licence and setting up took some time, and the station finally went on air, live, on the 6th of June 2009. It is entirely run by volunteers, and although I imagine many of you won’t be in the area, you can always check online, here, and there’s even an App you can download.

If you want to know how I’ve found it so far (it’s very early days)…People are great, I love everything (the community ads [I’m now finally up to date with what is happening], the selection of weird news and the Quiz of Doom by Andy), I’m in awe of the time management skills necessary to fit everything in, of the technology, and I hope people enjoy listening to the programme (despite my accent).

It's like NASA but smaller!
It’s like NASA but smaller!

Andy tells me I’m doing OK, and hopefully I’ll be doing more and more things as I go along (I started pressing buttons and things last week), so who knows!

I’m still getting to know the people working there, but so far, loving it.

It's me on the radio!
It’s me on the radio!

Don’t forget to follow in Facebook:

And Twitter:


I’ll keep you posted. Go on, check us out! And, why don’t you have a go at volunteering? I’m sure there are many good causes you might be able to contribute to, even if you only have a bit of time every week. And you might learn something, have fun, and what’s more important, help.

Thanks so much to Penistone FM, and Andy Riley in particular for his patience, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, comment, share and CLICK! And consider VOLUNTEERING!

By OlgaNunez

I was born in Barcelona and after living in the UK for many years have now returned home. I teach English, volunteer at Sants 3 Ràdio, a local radio station, I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often.
I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links.
My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

18 replies on “@PenistoneFM is participating in the ITV’s the #Peoples’Project. Come and support!”

It is, Debby! So much to learn! I was going to say it’s like blogging, having to come up with topics, but there’s the time issue too. Hopefully I’ll keep learning!

I’m impressed with your determination to do and learn all these things. Good for you. But where do you find the time. (Can’t sleep, hence the time!

Thanks, Sarah. It’s true that time doesn’t appear out of nowhere, we have to make time for the things we’re interested in. It’s a matter of deciding what we’re more interested in (or what we need more) at a certain point. The rest of the volunteers have regular jobs, families, are studying… So yes, everybody has busy schedules but if you enjoy it, you spend less time on something else (yes, sleep is overrated!). I always thought I’d volunteer at some point in life, but events showed me what I already knew, carpe diem is true. We don’t know if there’s going to be a tomorrow.

Olga, what an awesome update! I meant to ask you about your adventures in radio earlier. I’m so proud of you!
Do keep letting us know how this progresses. It’s marvelous.
Mega hugs!

I will! And believe me, Teagan, I’ll be asking for suggestions and ideas if (once?) I get a programme. It seems I could do with a musical theme… 🙂

This is so exciting. I enjoy–love–hearing about your life on the radio. It’s not something which would ever have entered my sphere otherwise.

Thanks, Tess. I’ve always enjoyed listening to the radio and I’ve heard and taken part in some interviews but didn’t think about doing it myself until the moment I saw the opportunity advertised and I thought I’d take a chance. The worst that could happen was that it wouldn’t work, and it would still be a good story…;)

You’re a brave soul, Olga. Best of luck with ITV’s The People Project!

Thanks, Jo-Anne. We’ll need it, although I know they’ve got funding in the past through similar initiatives. They are very active training young people and offering an opportunity to students of media subjects. 🙂

Apart from your obvious skills with people and putting them at their ease, I would imagine the accent would be an added bonus. It’s fantastic that you are volunteering for local radio and putting something back into your local area. You have my vote any day.
xxx Massive Hugs xxx

Thanks so much, David. So far nobody has complained about the accent and people have been very friendly. At the moment I’m in Barcelona but as soon as I’m back I’ll get everything started. I hope to get some assistance for stories, music, etc… Humongous hugs!

Thanks so much, Mary. I’ll report back when I have any news 🙂

I have just been on the site from the link, and voted for your radio station. (And another project too) It was very easy to do, so I hope that more people with UK addresses will support you.
I like the photo of you live on air, but you’re not smiling, so I am guessing it must be a little nerve-wracking!
Best wishes, Pete.

Thanks, Pete. I hope so! It can be nerve wracking, especially when things don’t go according to plan. The problem with the photo was that I took it myself and I’m not at all into selfies and don’t have a selfie stick (and can’t see much without my glasses either)! ♥

Congratulations Olga! I had read the previous article when you first started and it looks like you’ve come a long way. I can tell that you’re the type of person that doesn’t shy away from any task and you love learning new things. I’m so excited for you. You look great with your earphones on. It would be great for you to have your own show in the UK. I wish you continued success! <3 xx

Thanks, Vashti. You’re very kind. There’re lots to learn. I’ll be back in the UK some time after Easter and I hope to catch up where I left off (more or less).

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