Here at Athlone Community Radio we realised on March 16th that the most important information our listeners needed to know was, which service/organization was open for business or closed and which shop/restaurant/ hotel was open and what were the changes to services/facilities on offer in our catchment area. So, we set about compiling a list of Open for Business, Closed or what changes the business had implemented to ensure social distancing was being adhered to. We quickly compiled these into a poster format, uploaded them to our Facebook page, recorded the information and broadcast it twice daily. We were overwhelmed with the response, our followers on Facebook increased overnight; we received emails and messages from shops and businesses that were eager to be included.

We also linked in with our local authorities to help promote their message. We link in weekly with the CEO of our local community development office, he gives contact details for anyone cocooning or in one of the at-risk categories that may need help and support during this pandemic.

How we broadcast has changed, we have staff and volunteers setting up home studios and learning new skills. It is all hands on deck with staff and volunteers quickly learning new skills, how to research, how to edit, how to broadcast from home and our staff meeting is now on screen with everyone sharing their ideas on how we can improve our service to our community.

Even though we have had a huge response from our listeners and local business we now more than ever need to fundraise as income from our usual activities has ceased for the moment.

Fundraising has now changed to online and we are holding our first ever online Fun Table Quiz on air on May 2nd where people can donate online through Gofund me or PayPal. ( Donate Here ) We are committed to continuing to provide a great Radio Service even though we are mostly working from home and will ensure accurate up to date information is always available to our listeners while this unprecedented pandemic disrupts all of our lives.

Picture ACR Staff and Volunteers
Amanda McCallan, David Smyth, Dessy Parkes, Philomena Barry, Irena Cvetkovic & Colin Burke

Deirdre Hunt

Athlone Community Radio

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