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The latest round of our Radio Course, funded by MAES, has drawn to a close. The past two weeks have seen us welcome a new group of young people into the Reform Radio space to learn the likes of scriptwriting, audio production, recording, presenting and more. It’s certainly been a busy fortnight with our attendees having the chance to visit BBC 5 Live studios. Meanwhile, they were able to put their interviewing skills to the test with special guest, Lauren Haynes, of the Great British Sewing Bee. The exclusive Zoom interview they conducted, alongside all the audio pieces they’ve been working on throughout the course were then showcased in a radio show.

Listen back to the show below.

To find out more about this project’s antics, we caught up with two of our participants, Nell & Hanad.

A group of young people stood in front of a Reform Radio poster, with a indoor plant beside them

Introduce your name, pronouns and what you get up to in your free time.

H: My name is Hanad, my pronouns are she/her and my current pastime is trying to get fit and healthy.

N: I’m Nell and my pronouns are she/her. In my free time, I like producing theatre.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

H: I would say funny, caring and enthusiastic.

N: High-energy, affectionate and funny.

Did you have much experience in radio or presenting before? What’s your favourite thing about it?

H: The only experience I had in radio was as a child. In Year 3, we got to go on a local radio station. After that, I remember thinking I was a star. I did a bit of performing arts in high school too, but I shied away from the limelight for a while following this. Radio feels like the right stepping stone to going back to my roots now. I like not being on camera and being able to use my voice as my most power tool.

N: I did a bit of podcasting as part of my degree and I did a lot of performing throughout growing up too. I was looking for a way to marry up my interests and what I studied; radio felt like a comfortable, happy medium. Similar to Hamad, because you’re not on camera, you have so much more freedom to express yourself. I gesticulate a lot when I speak and I enjoy being able to do that authentically. So much of the time, you have to look and appear a certain way in the media; this isn’t the case for radio.

A female with blonde hair in the radio studio, with headphones on sat behind a microphone.

What prompted you to get involved with the Radio Course?

H: When I saw the course being advertised, I noticed the age eligibility was for those below 30. I am 29 so I thought to myself ‘if I’m going to do it, now is my time’. So I decided to take the bull by its horns and apply. I had grown tired of working in corporate job roles, and I was ready to try something new in which I could be myself.

N: I had not long finished uni and had been thinking a lot about what I wanted to do next. So I started looking at all the things I enjoy doing, and radio seemed to relate to all of them. I have also been craving structure since leaving university.

Throughout the course, you’ve been working on your own radio shows, what have inspired your direction with these and can you tell us about the themes of your shows?

H: The title of our show is ‘Misfits Fit In’ and it summarises our group of people so well. We genuinely look as if we are on jury duty; we are from all walks of life and places around Manchester. I am loving the fact we have all been able to come together and create something together. It’s an opportunity we wouldn’t have had if we weren’t on the course.

N: The theme of misfits has been a great lens to look at things through. My audio piece is about mental health as it’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Much of the time, mental struggles can alienate people and make us feel a sense of otherness. In reality, we can often bond over these emotional struggles. It’s been nice to come into a safe space and have open conversations about this.

An individual sat behind the desk in our radio studio with headphones on, wearing a green jumper, glasses and a blue headband.
ME Blair

Let’s throw it back to your first day at Reform versus now, tell me a bit about your first impressions/feelings/emotions in comparison to how you feel now. What has changed? 

H: I’m so happy I stuck with the course. To begin with, I was really apprehensive about doing the icebreaker tasks; it made me feel like I was on my first day at school. But I recognise now that those tasks were there to get us to where we are today – creating together. I’ve loved working with everybody.

N: I was nervous at the start of the course to work in a smaller group. Being creative is vulnerable. Now, I feel a lot more confident sharing my own ideas with people. I believe this will translate into my everyday life too. My confidence is so much bigger in backing my own ideas and putting them out there.

A girl sat in our workshop space holding her water bottle laughing

If you could have any guest on your own radio show, who would it be and why?

H: There’s loads of people I’d love to have on my own show. However, to pay homage to my favourite host of all time, I would have to say Graham Norton. It would have to be him so I could pick his brain and learn about how he got to where he is today.

N: Someone with a nice voice – maybe, Joanna Lumley. I’d also love to have both of my grannies on air.

What’s your go-to radio station to lock into?

H: Mine is LBC if I want to listen to chatter, or Capital Extra for music.

N: BBC Radio 1Xtra.

Two young people sat behind our radio desk with headphones on, working on a radio show.
Fionn (left) & Funkę (right)

What will you take from the Radio Course moving forward & what are your plans from here onwards? 

H: Definitely a newfound, or reaffirmed, confidence and self-belief. I need to find creative spaces, or make these spaces myself if I can’t find them. I’m going to work with Reform to get some employment and funding application support.

N: It has given me drive to keep creating. I want to stop waiting for opportunities to come to me and go searching for them myself. Next up for me is continuing to work on a devised theatre piece called ‘Look What We’ve Done’ in Manchester.

To find out about our future projects, email our lovely Engagement team on

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