Community computing initiative drives learning and creativity

Compare the Cloud & Reprezent Radio help young to compute and broadcast their way to a brighter future.

Reprezent 107.3FM is a full time London community radio station, exclusively for 13-24 year olds. All programming is made by young people trained in-house, and focuses on young people from urban areas of poverty.

Reprezent would like to thank Compare the Cloud for the donation of PC’s that has allowed our young people to use better ICT equipment and hopefully make a difference to their futures. Young people find technology and new media exciting, and these are our main tools for engaging them in learning the skills they need to do well in life.

“It’s here at Reprezent where I have built my confidence. In terms of broadcasting on a live show, that was actually big for me. Reprezent gave me that platform in order to do that and in order to have self-confidence and be myself. Reprezent was one of the main things that helped me to get into university. I didn’t meet the criteria grade but because I had the experience at Reprezent, they reconsidered my application and accepted me. Yes, Reprezent was a real life saver.” says JJ (Jonathan) aged 19.

Most of the young people who come through our training experience extreme difficulties in their lives one way or another (on average 400 per year). Many have been excluded from school, or struggling with a mainstream education system ill equipped to fully support them. A number come from unstable family circumstances, without strong role models to encourage and help them to develop. Many have been unemployed for a long period of time, and have had little training to help them to realise their potential.

Over 90% who start on our training  no matter what their background and ability complete the course and achieve qualifications.

Our training is nationally accredited, and gives young people the opportunity to get on air. In addition, radio is a great engagement tool for young people, as it’s as accessible to anyone with a voice, irrespective of educational level, literacy or even self confidence.

Through learning how to work on radio, trainees learn the skills necessary for the world of work and further education such as speaking and listening, presentation, interview techniques, working in a team, turning up on time, negotiation, research, ICT and technical skills.

As well as essential life skills, every young person on our training has a bespoke Learning and Development plan, agreed with them by our youth support workers. This sets out their long and short term goals (no matter how lofty!), is regularly reviewed to make sure they are doing everything they can to achieve them, so we’re helping them in the right way.

By the time a young person has gone through our training, they will be prepared to take the next positive leap in their lives. They’ll have a CV full of practical work experience and be properly prepared for their next move.

Over 90% who start on our training  no matter what their background and ability complete the course and achieve qualifications. Over 50% of all starters successfully gain employment at the end of the course, 30% progress to further or higher education, and many of the remainder continue with the station making radio programmes and supporting new trainees.

Our ambition is for young people to move out of the cycle of poverty with new found skills, confidence and aspirations. Funding is very challenging, especially in the current austere climate so the more support we get from companies and individuals the greater impact this will have on improving the lives of young people across London.

To find out more about Reprezent and how you can get involved visit www.wereprezent.co.uk.

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Andrew McLean is the Studio Director at Disruptive Live, a Compare the Cloud brand. He is an experienced leader in the technology industry, with a background in delivering innovative & engaging live events. Andrew has a wealth of experience in producing engaging content, from live shows and webinars to roundtables and panel discussions. He has a passion for helping businesses understand the latest trends and technologies, and how they can be applied to drive growth and innovation.

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