by Ram Kalyan 'Kelly' on Sunday 31st December 2017 at 11:16am
2017 has been a year filled with progress, love, and most importantly memories. We at Unity 101 would like to thank our volunteers, our sponsors, the community, and you - for making each and every year extra special! Without you, Unity 101 would not be what it is and we are truly grateful.
Its’ amazing to think that we now have over 20 volunteers who have stayed with us and been a part of our family for 10 whole years. We’ve developed the skills of all of our volunteers in all aspects of radio broadcasting.
We’ve developed not only their broadcasting skills, such as interviewing national and international singing stars, company leaders, authors, and a multitude of local people – but we’ve also raised their confidence. Our once perhaps shy volunteers are now braver and bolder people.
In the year of 2017, we broadcasted 24/7 in 10 different languages on 101.1FM as well as on multiple streaming outlets, and, we’ve also integrated video streaming and sound streaming to reach an even further audience.
We’ve played thousands of hours of music as well as conducted thousands of hours of interviews with people from all walks of life. All of our interviews revolve around our community of Southampton, whether that’s police personnel during our show “Behind The Badge”, which highlighted the work of individual officers or operational officers at Hampshire Constabulary, or, Alex Ivancevic and his interviews with members of the Private, Public, and Voluntary sectors of Southampton, to help the local community gain a better awareness of what work these people are doing.
In May of 2017, we hosted and produced the radio drama Stand By Me, which was funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The project was collaboration between Unity 101 and Newtown Youth Community Centre. We developed a script together as well as broadcasted a radio drama all about hate crime all from the perspective of a victim.
It’s not all about the on air content though. In 2016, we successfully secured 18 months of funding from the Heritage Lottery and launched our Port Horizon project. The project aims to chart the journey of our BME ancestors as well as the ultimate sacrifice the merchant seamen made in two world wars. We’ve surpassed every outcome expected by the Heritage Lottery.
On the 2nd of September in 2017, Unity 101 organised an event called Hands of Love, which was funded by Southampton City Council Chest Fund to commemorate the Merchant Navy. It was a huge success and saw 250 people or more from all walks of life – young and the not so young - attending. It was a multicultural gathering with free food provided by the Hindu, Sikh, Christian, and Muslim faiths of Southampton.
We also got involved with all sorts of community projects as well. We supported the Magic of Christmas at St Mary’s Fire Station, which helped bring the community together, no matter the faith or background. Over 500 people attended and even Santa himself made an appearance.
We launched Unity Arts, our community art hub in January 2017, which engaged a range of communities across Southampton. We’ve had over 1800 people attend a multitude and mixture of art exhibitions, such as “I Am Southampton”, which showcased and celebrated Southampton’s diverse champions.
Though, all of these activities would not have been possible without the continued support of our partners. All of us at Unity 101 would like to thank you and we sincerely hope that we can continue to build our relationship. 2018 ushers in a new year, with new projects, new opportunities – and indeed – new challenges.
Though we will always and forever be “by the community, for the community and to the community”.
Thank you – here looking at 2018