The launch of a new radio station for paid and unpaid carers has been spearheaded by ex-Radio Tay boss, Gary Robinson.
Hitting the airwaves during Carers Week (June 7-13) Care Radio provides, music, news, entertainment and support for those with caring responsibilities across the UK.
Gary, who spent four years as station director for Radio Tay, is one of the co-founders of Care Radio.
He explains: “It was really accelerated by Covid. It’s very much about supporting NHS workers, looking after and supporting unpaid carers, paid carers, young carers.
“It became apparent there was nothing in radio terms solely for that audience. We felt there was a big need and radio is one of the most personal mediums you can get.”
‘You’re not alone’
Gary continues: “Radio never leaves you, it’s like anything you love.
“I worked on the idea of a radio station for carers with some industry colleagues. We were very impressed by the initial days of clapping for carers, as well as the great appreciation and love there seemed to be for carers across the UK.”
The radio station provides a range of content including music, news and entertainment, as well as a range of specialist programmes and news tailored to the needs and interests of carers.
Gary says: “The programmes are there to allow carers to switch off. We’re not there to remind people they are carers.
“The purpose of the radio station is to say ‘great job, but you’re not alone’. There are lots of people who don’t realise they’re unpaid carers, because they just see it as part of the job of being a sibling or a child or a parent.
“We want to give something back. We’re not for profit and any profits we do make will be pumped into carers projects.”
Care Radio is now on air supporting the UK’s millions of paid and unpaid carers, including those in the NHS and in care homes, as well as those looking after others at home. Listen by downloading the app or through our website https://t.co/BFhVt0tqiq #wearecareradio pic.twitter.com/tGXMdjDlio
— Care Radio (@care_radio) June 9, 2021
The station has already been endorsed by famous Scots including broadcaster Sally Magnusson, who appeared on the station on its opening weekend. Author Ian Rankin is also throwing his support behind Care Radio.
The station’s presenters all have experience of caring, too.
Gary says: “Caring can be a very lonely job, whether you’re paid, unpaid or working for the NHS. We’re building a community of carers.
“Our station exists to celebrate the work they do, but ultimately it’s about letting them know they’re not alone.
“It’s a friend. If you’re by yourself, it’s a friendly medium. There’s a voice there, 24 hours a day. It doesn’t matter what time you’re listening, we will be there for you.”
The cost of caring
According to Carers UK, around 6.5 million adults provide informal, unpaid care to friends and family, saving the economy £132 billion each year.
Covid-19 is thought to have exacerbated this, with an estimated 13.6 million people providing unpaid care throughout the pandemic.
On top of this, 166,000 people under the age of 18 are believed to be young carers, taking time out of school and their social life to care for a loved one.
Tune into Care Radio at www.careradio.org, on the Care Radio app, or on streaming platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music.