by Ram Kalyan 'Kelly' on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at 1:03pm
Radio presenters who have served Southampton’s diverse communities for more than a decade have been invited to the Mayor’s Parlour as recognition for their volunteering, dedication and service.
Based in St Mary’s Road, Unity 101 Community Radio’s philosophy is 'By the community, for the community and to the community'. It is staffed by volunteers – on and off air, broadcasting the music and culture of Southampton’s diverse communities.
Project and Station Manager, Ram Kalyan “Kelly” along with Jo Ash CBE, Chief Executive of Southampton Voluntary Services (SVS) and the Southampton Mayor, Cllr Cathie McEwing, will be celebrating thirteen volunteers who have been giving their time to the station for more than a decade. They will be presented with certificates of recognition and appreciation in a reception at the Mayor’s Parlour, followed by dinner at Kuti’s Restaurant, Oxford Street, where other Unity 101 volunteers will join them to share in the celebration.
Ram Kalyan Kelly said: “These volunteers have helped shape Unity 101 into the reliable, trust-worthy and much loved radio station and community resource it is today. Even though each of them have busy lives, they willingly make time for the station, presenting a diverse range of programmes and becoming household names and sources of valuable information for their communities.”
The certificates were presented on 21st February at the Southampton Mayor’s Parlour which were then followed by Kuti’s, Oxford Street, Southampton.
The Mayor of Southampton, Cllr Cathie McEwing says "It is a great privilege and honour to be giving awards out to Unity 101. They’ve brought so much into Southampton. They’ve shaped the community, they’ve shaped the food, they’ve shaped the culture."
Jo Ash who is the CEO of Southampton Voluntary Service's also added"Fantastic celebration of volunteers contribution to Unity 101. Unity 101 embodies all that’s best in Southampton."
Here are the people that were awarded with our 10 Years of Service certificate!
Former air hostess and court usher, Kamla Sharma, joined Unity 101 in February 2004. Multilingual Kamla presents a weekly poetry programme called Weekend Ki Suruvath Kamla Ke Saath, meaning the weekend with Kamla.
At 75 years old, Manjula Master, is the most senior volunteer on Unity 101. She joined in February 2004 having never used a computer, she now uses one with ease for programme production and also operates the radio broadcast ‘desk’. She presents a weekly programme in Gujarati.
Business woman and mother, Nisha Rajguru, joined in February 2004, funny lady co-presenting a weekly Gujarati programme.
Meena Vashisht, joined in February 2004. She presented the very first programme on Unity 101 when the station was granted its permanent full-time radio licence by Ofcom in 2005.
Entrepreneur and Unity 101’s IT and Development Manager, Matthew Auckland, joined in 2003 and is instrumental in keeping the station on air, to a professional standard. He runs his own IT business called the Laughing Buddha and has recently set up his own online radio station, Sumo Radio.
Veronica Gordon, was a young single mother and full-time university student when she joined Unity 101 in March 2004. After volunteering on a number of the station’s radio programmes and completing her broadcast journalism training at BBC Radio Solent, she created Vibrant Vibes, Unity 101’s African and Caribbean programme. She is now a full-time journalist at ITV’s Meridian News.
An IT consultant for a local authority, Ash Rajput, joined in April 2004, starting off as a volunteer presenter. He is now one of Unity 101’s Directors.
Parminder Kaur Chohan, joined in 2005 from London’s Sunrise Radio. She was the only volunteer to join the station with previous commercial radio experience. She presents twice a month a programme in Punjabi, called Sur Punjab De.
Raja Waqas, joined in January 2006, presenting a show called Do Pal Raja ke Sung. In 2013 he returned to his hometown of Islamabad in Pakistan, where he now broadcasts a weekly programme on Unity 101, live from Pakistan. Raja is now also a full-time radio presenter on FM 89.4 and FM101 Radio Pakistan.
Stage actor and Senior Lecturer at Southampton Solent University’s Warshaw Maritime Academy, Adesh Joshi , joined in February 2006. He is currently taking a short break from volunteering to complete his Phd.
Urdu poet and writer, Faisal Javed, joined Unity 101 in April 2006. As well as presenting regular radio programmes, he has written 3 books as well wrote and directed Unity 101’s radio drama, Vaada Faramosh.
Head of English in a secondary school and mother of two, Preeti Nayyar, joined Unity 101 in June 2006. She presents regular programme, focusing on food – which she describes as her second love after her family.
Born in Pakistan, Afifa Wardak, joined in June 2006, presenting the monthly Afghani programme in Urdu, Pashto, Dary and English.