People of Bristol have rallied behind BCfm in a fitting testament to the positive impact the radio station has on communities across the city.
It was on Thursday last week that a fire broke out during a live broadcast, leaving the small studio on the ground floor of Easton Community Centre gutted and equipment destroyed, with an estimated rebuild cost of £15,000.
As soon as news of the devastating blaze broke out, offers of support and help started flooding in from people and organisations across Bristol.
A Crowdfunder launched to help BCfm rebuild has received more than £5,500 in donations in a matter of days, along with messages from supporters, many of whom have mentioned how the station had given them a step-up or helped kick-start their career.
The BCfm team say they are overwhelmed by the messages of support in the wake of the sad event.
“We have lost pretty much everything in there, including our decks, computers, mixers, monitors, soundproofing and some stuff we just can’t put a price on,” they said, writing on the Crowdfunder page.
“We have managed to get back on air temporarily with a music loop and announcements thanks to the skills of our talented team, but it is going to be a while before we’re able to broadcast properly with an accessible studio for our volunteer presenters.”
BCfm is Bristol’s first community radio station and has been broadcasting in the city for 12 years.
It prides itself on providing a much-needed voice for communities and individuals who feel they are often ignored or let down by mainstream media.
Explaining how funds will be used, BCfm says: “We’re a registered charity with about 200 volunteers, including our CEO and station manager, Pat.
“We have no core funding, which means we make only small amounts of money from stuff like on-air adverts to cover all our costs, so in no way do we have enough saved up to rebuild a whole studio.
“We do have insurance but, at the moment, we don’t know what that will cover.
“The estimated cost of the damage from this fire is going to run past the £15,000 mark and obviously right now we have nowhere suitable to broadcast our diverse range of programmes from.
“We will use any money raised to buy equipment that the insurance doesn’t cover and pay for labour costs to rebuild some sort of studio as soon as possible. Any excess not used for the studio rebuild will go towards our general funds that help to run the station that trains hundreds of volunteers each year.
“We are overwhelmed by the messages of support from our community and beyond. It’s really lifted our spirits after such a sad day.
“Any donations are welcome and if you can’t donate, please just share this petition and/or join the BCfm radio Facebook page and send our presenters a message of support.
“Thank you Bristol!”
Read more: BCfm studio devastated by fire