Educational work supported by the Kent Community Foundation (http://www.kentcf.org.uk/)
The Kent Community Foundation are a long-standing supporter of Academy FM. They manage a variety of funds, and have considerable experience and knowledge of Kent's charity sector. We're very grateful for their support.
Currently the KCF are supporting a mental health project, where young people take part in discussions and debates to learn more about mental health. We are working with teenagers from two Folkestone schools, with the recordings happening in classrooms and our studios.
For 2018, Academy FM benefited from a Core Support grant towards the overheads of our organisation. We are not the type of radio station that has a commercial sound and format that prioritises advertising sales - we prioritise our work supporting young people and the local community. It costs a lot to run an educational charity and radio station, and the KCF's Core Support grant supported our salaries, license fees, technical support, office costs and other outgoings.
The KCF also supported us with a grant from the Brook Trust & Lawson Endowment Fund. This was for an employability project that works with children as young as 10 years old. In our previous work, we've found that by the time teenagers reach age 15, some still don't have a clue what careers or pathways they'd like to take after their GCSEs. Also, for the ones that do have an idea what career they're interested in, most don't actually know much about these careers and what it's like working in particular sectors. The KCF funded a unique project with children in Years 6-10, who researched careers and recorded interviews with local business-people.
In 2016-17 the KCF funded some of our educational work through their ‘Children, Young People & the Community Themed Fund’. This supported Academy FM’s work with a large number of young people. Every week we worked with students from one of the Yr7 Literacy students from the Academy who record a show that’s broadcast on Friday evenings, and students from the Folkestone Primary Academy who broadcast a live show on Monday at 2pm – over the course of the year we worked with over 40 students from Yr6. Students gained increased confidence, communication skills, and their understanding of a working environment increased. It also gave them yet another positive thing to experience as part of Academy life. The improvements in students is monitored, and the results (along with comments from parents and staff) point to our work being a very positive force in helping our young people mature.