A radio station set up by a DJ with learning difficulties are looking for disabled volunteers to present their shows – and are appealing for help to find a premises. No Barriers Radio is headed by station master Josh Hornsey – who is just 14 years old – and founder and chairman David Braysher, who has been DJing since 1978.
The members pre-record shows from their homes and transfer them via MP3 onto the website, nobarriersradio.com, where they can be listed to globally. Shows vary from 50s and 60s music to current pop and dance music. Anything goes and requests are welcome.
Josh says, “No Barriers Radio was thought of a long time ago by our chairman, David Braysher, who himself has learning difficulties. It has been a dream for a long time to have a radio station supporting (and to improve the current lack of) the rights of people with disabilities across the world. David has struggled with many complications, such as in October 2013, his loft (our studio) was hit by fire which put the loft out of use for quite a long time.
"Anything you could think of that is technical to do with a radio station is my responsibility – plus a lot of the admin side of the radio station. I love what I do because I know it helps people. I enjoy working with such amazing people (even though most of them I’ve only spoken to on the phone!).”
After more than a year of being on air, the DJs are looking to expand by applying for funding, getting some new equipment and acquiring an Ofcom licence – but they have hit a snag.
David – who also produces live shows – says, “We need a commercial premises to be able to apply for Lottery funding and an Ofcom licence, and to become a registered charity. Many of us are based in west London so this is proving difficult. We need somewhere between 10-15 miles of Ruislip ideally and are looking for someone to come forward and help us with this. I want to get the message of no discrimination across and help people with any disabilities and to help stamp out discrimination across the world.”
Josh adds, “We are looking forward to moving into our new building in the foreseeable future. This will allow us to get funding and use industry-standard equipment.”
The DJs are a mixture of disabled and able-bodied people, and David says he set up the station to help prove to youngsters that they can achieve success, despite their disabilities. David says, “My learning difficulties have caused me problems but I want to prove to people that it can be done.”
Josh is a very busy teenager, studying and working in radio as well as theatre. He explains, “I currently attend Elstree University College, which is a school focussed on the creative media and production arts industries. I currently study Production Technology at BTEC which is about the 'behind the scenes' objects of the theatre from prop making to stage management.
“Stage management is something I have wanted to do since I was eight and I currently stage manage shows for stage schools (including my little brother’s!). I also study Photography & Film Studies at GCSE and also Creative Technologies at BTEC. I am hoping to move to the Global Academy in Hayes, which is run by Global (the owners of Heart and Capital to name but a few), to study a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Broadcast & Digital Media as one day I would like to see myself presenting for Capital. I know Capital presenter JJ (Joe Flemons) as he also started on another radio station I work on, Diverse FM.”
If you would like to join the DJ team at No Barriers Radio and learn how to produce shows from your own home get in touch with the team, who are particularly looking for people with learning difficulties or physical disabilities and would like to include everyone they can.
Josh adds, “Anyone can become a member of No Barriers Radio, not just presenting, but we offer technical training. You also become a member of an amazing community. Radio is so much fun, if you would like to be involved with No Barriers Radio whether it is on or indeed off the microphone, please don't hesitate to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. We see the station that is run by the listeners, for the listeners.”
Visit www.nobarriersradio.com to listen to the show and find more details about the rest of the No Barriers Radio team, who also include Paul Baker, Ben Poulton, Conor Naughton, Alan Coote, Mark Stafford, Melvo Baptiste, Mr D and DJ Mungo.