When you have in the region of 90 volunteers, it’s difficult to pick winners. But at an Awards event held at the University Eldon building, Express FM celebrated the achievements of 11 of its contributors.
Now in its 9th year, the station is one of the longest running community stations in the country, and broadcasts over 45 different shows every week, all presented by volunteers.
“We began by selecting categories,” said Station Director Cheryl Buggy, ” and then narrowed it down to 3 potential winners per category. Really we wanted to give everybody an award because without our volunteers we would not have a station!”
One of the winners, Clara Apollo who presents the show Chi Time, is typical of somebody who came to Express with a passion and now has her own show. She won the award for Most Improved presenter and said afterwards “it’s very encouraging to be recognised for what I do at Express, and I feel really honoured to have been considered. It’s great to have been able to develop an idea into what has become a well-known well-being show, and I really love presenting it.”
The award for Volunteer of the Year went to Phill Russell. The well-deserved accolade was in recognition of the fact that Phill has presented the Express breakfast show for a couple of years, showing great dedication in being on air bright and breezy every morning whilst most of us are still in bed! “To make such a commitment to the station, every workday morning before heading off to his day job, is incredible” said Cheryl. “Phill is definitely a star in more ways than one.”
A special surprise was in store for Chris Carnegy, who with Cheryl, dreamed up the idea of Express 10 years ago. Although busy with many other roles and responsibilities, Chris has remained a stalwart supporter of the station behind the scenes, which is why the Express board, chaired by Dee John from Highbury College, decided to make a special award for services to the station.
In praise of Chris, Dee said “As Chair of the board I am indebted to Chris for his expert knowledge, support and unfailing good sense of humour. He has been instrumental in ensuring Portsmouth has a radio station to be proud of.”
Cheryl says it’s full steam ahead for Express. “Thanks to the financial support of the University, Highbury, the Southern Cooperatives and Portsmouth College, and the hard work of the team, we are planning exciting times ahead. That includes adding local news provision to our output, offering Express on DAB as well as FM, and establish a sports commentary academy.”
If you like the idea of volunteering at Express the station has some new opportunities. Please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more.
Volunteer of the Year – Phill Russell
Best Newcomer – Chas Byrne
Best Speech Programme – Chris Pearce
Best Music Programme – Country Music Show – Russell Hill
Best Produced Programme – Oli Ing
Best Male Presenter – Pete Crew
Best Female Presenter – Vicki Hemmings
Best Team – Down Memory Lane – Geoff Peters and Gary Burnett
Best Ambassador – Myles Henson
Most Improved – Chi Time – Clara Apollo
Most Entertaining – Blow Your Whistle
Special Award – Chris Carnegy
Press release and photo courtesy of Matt Farmer at Express FM.