Digital radio to combat loneliness at Christmas in Harlow

News / Fri 11th Dec 2020 at 04:18pm

UNITED In Kind’, an Essex-wide, community partnership initiative seeking to reduce levels of loneliness and social isolation, will be taking to the ‘digital radio airwaves’ this Christmas.

This week sees the launch of United In Kind Radio; a new, 24-hour digital radio platform which will broadcast festive music, thoughtful information and shared messages of thanks and kindness, sent in by people from across Essex throughout the Christmas season.

The United In Kind project, which began last year, aims to bring community, charity and voluntary groups together and connect friends, neighbours and strangers through different platforms and encouraged local acts of kindness.

The digital radio station is the latest campaign initiative, seeking to amplify kindness and positive social connectivity, by sharing community-created audio content, dedicated to an older audience who may be feeling particularly lonely during a pandemic-affected festive period.

Rather than having radio presenters, the station will broadcast many voices of people from all backgrounds living in Essex, who leave dedicated, short messages of thanks and kindness on an answerphone.

Jemma Mindham, Rainbow Services CEO and Jacqui Foile, Voluntary Action Epping Forest Chief Officer, both agreed:

“At the end of such a challenging year, we expect there are many people who would like to share a personal thank you with a volunteer, or team of people, or service who have been supporting them, or someone they love”.

“Equally, there will be many people currently feeling lonely and socially restricted this year, due to their health conditions and greater pandemic risk”.

“United In Kind Radio has been set up with these people in mind, as a dedicated audience; and we are asking our working partners and the wider community to encourage engagement with the new platform -; especially among elderly care settings and households’.

United In Kind Radio has been set up by United In Kind partners: West Essex Community Action Network (WECAN), Provide CIC and Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE).

The new station plans to expand and develop its content next year, after running its Christmas kindness campaign, to engage with wider audiences and community groups across Essex.

Clive Emmett, Council for Voluntary Service Uttlesford CEO said:
The development of this Radio Station is a great example of how digital can support people within our communities who otherwise it would be difficult to reach and communicate with in our current circumstances, UiK will continue to strive to be accessible to as many people in need as possible through existing methods, but will deploy creative and innovative ways that will enhance our offer as we move into our future delivery.

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