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Radio station set to expand again

BOOMING Radio Respect is seeking its second move in Bognor Regis in just six months.

 

The radio station hopes to expand into larger premises in Belmont Street this autumn to provide twice as much shopfloor space than its current base.

 

Founder Chris Collins said: “We need to move to bigger premises. We need to raise funds for a month’s rent as a deposit and three months’ rent in advance.

 

“But where we want to go has a lot more rooms than we do in West Street.

 

“We only moved in last February but we have already outgrown this. We have become a recognised mental health service in that time.

 

“People are using us for what we set out to do and we have had a lot more footfall than we did in our previous premises, which is fantastic. We didn’t expect to be moving so quickly.”

 

Chris said at least £5,000 was needed to get started in the new premises.

 

Radio Respect is a community interest company (CIC) and the only radio station dedicated to mental health and mental wellbeing.

 

It broadcasts around the clock online and has live shows with a team of dedicated volunteers who offer advice and support connected with mental and physical health at the same time as playing good music.

 

Last Saturday saw a relaunch of the radio broadcasts after a technical upgrade saw it off air for two weeks.

 

“We had been using our equipment for a while and we needed to make it more reliable,” said Chris.

 

“People suffering with mental health issues need consistency and we needed to provide that.”

 

He founded Radio Respect in his garden shed six years ago.

 

He moved the operation to offices in Station Road and built up the broadcasts to a nightly audience of some 60,000 around the world.

 

The current equipment enables the listeners’ locations in Australia, China and the USA to be shown.

 

The desire to become more visible, coupled with chance to raise funds by providing the only vinyl music store in Bognor Regis prompted the radio station’s move to West Street with the help of fellow CIC, Grandad’s Front Room.

 

The secondhand singles and LPs, as well as CDs and hi-fi equipment, have proved popular.

 

But the the record hunters and those seeking help for mental health matters is making the premises very busy.

 

“We can have ten people a week coming through our front door looking for help,” said Chris. “That shows we are providing an important service and people want to see us when they have been referred to us.

 

“We can provide that but we just don’t have the room to do that, which means they have to wait in the shop – and no-one wants that.”

 

Go to radiorespect.org.uk to donate.

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