This blog post is based on remarks made by Radio Academy Chair Helen Thomas at the Radio Academy Summer Social on Monday 19 July.
It’s so lovely to be addressing you this evening, in person, and to be holding actual in-person Summer Social events around the country this evening. And, I’m proud to be here as Chair of the Radio Academy – a role I took up just before Christmas.
Along with Nick Pitts (my trusty Deputy) and our newly confirmed Managing Director Sam Bailey, we have a really clear vision – to make the Radio Academy matter to everyone in the audio sector.
We are more than just the Festival and the ARIAS (although they are pretty good!). We want to cement our unique position at the centre of the industry, providing platforms for discussion, offering support when needed, and most importantly celebrating all things radio and audio – wherever you work.
Tonight, we’re launching the ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 – a brilliant scheme now in its eleventh year, that shines a light on the best young talent in the business. I’m delighted that Bauer’s Steve Parkinson will chair 30 Under 30 again this year, he and Toby Whitehouse from ReelWorld are here to talk about it shortly. But before they do that, I also wanted to flag some of the other initiatives we have coming up later this year.
Next month, we’ll be launching the audio sector’s first pan-industry mentoring scheme. People who are least five years into their career and are feeling a bit ‘stuck’ will be matched with high flyers from other areas of the sector to offer advice, support and a different perspective from the ones they may find within their own organisations.
We’re also launching a new section of the Radio Academy website, dedicated to careers in radio and audio. People will be able to find out about the various different roles in the industry what they all mean, and get expert advice. We want our website to become a one-stop shop for people looking to get in or on in our brilliant industry.
We’re going to up our game around Training and Development bursaries, so if people need help paying for tickets, travel or accommodation to attend courses, events and conferences that will help them push on in the business, we want them to let them know that we are here as a resource for them to tap into financially.
And speaking of events, The Radio Academy Festival will be back in the Autumn. It will have an accessible ticket price and will be packed with informative and inspiring sessions. And whilst we are looking to run it as a ‘watch at home’ event, we plan to include simultaneous evening socials right across the country too – as we know how important networking is to our members.
My thanks go to Sam, Nick and all the Radio Academy Trustees for all their hard work, energy and input into getting these new initiatives off the ground. More details will follow in due course so make sure you stay up to date with all our announcements by following our social channels and activating your membership so you get our regular mailshots.