Leeds community radio station hits the airwaves during coronavirus crisis

A community radio station in east Leeds is celebrating after being granted permission to broadcast on FM during the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 11:45 am

East Leeds FM (ELFM) had applied to media watchdog Ofcom for the temporary move in order to access hard-to-reach populations in the area, such as the elderly, who do not have the internet.

But the regulator has now issued the longed-for licence to allow the station's volunteers to broadcast vital information to those in need.

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ELFM is normally based in Chapel FM, the former methodist chapel in Seacroft.

The radio station issued a statement which said: "We are delighted to announce that we now have a platform that will allow us to play a vital role in supporting our community.

"Broadcasting on 94.6FM will enable those who do not have access to the internet (especially older people) to listen to our programme, receiving key information and countering social isolation."

'Keeping distance, staying close' will now be on air from 10am to 1pm every day, featuring information on topics such as food deliveries, medicines, poems, living room concerts and updates on local shops.

ELFM is normally broadcast online from its base in the former Methodist Chapel in Seacroft, known as Chapel FM but equipment has now been set up in the homes of volunteers allowing them to transmit during lockdown.

Adrian Sinclair, co-director of Heads Together, which set up ELFM, pictured with his radio equipment at home.

ELFM's bosses thanked everyone for their support in getting the licence, and for signing the petition but added: "However, this will only be successful if people tune in. We need your help to spread the word. Radio is a great way of connecting with your loved ones from a distance. So take advantage, tell your grandparents, family members, neighbours and the community of Leeds. There will be something for everyone, so please do give us a listen."

For help tuning in, phone the station on 0113 22 55 944.

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