This week, we were with local money advice charity Moneywise Plus, who recorded a feature on how it has helped people manage their finances and find training or employment.
We wanted to understand how a charity, that is focussed on helping people keep their lives together, might be able to use community media techniques, such as personal testimony and storytelling, to support their engagement with people who are being most affected by the cuts to universal credit.
We spent a morning listening to one another’s experiences of tuning into the different types of radio, and asking what kind of information and relationship they are based on, and in what way each of the different broadcasters share their content on-air and over the internet.
Our aim was to figure out what approach we should take if we are to help people who need support with their finances, and who may not be aware of the support services that are available for them.
At a time when many people are anxious about a potential squeeze on their ability to manage their finances, it is essential, we decided, that the stories and testimony that we share should be based on the experience of people who have faced the challenges of homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and who have relationships that might be fragile and prone to falling apart.
One of the advantages of using radio to help people who might be worried is that it doesn’t depend on reading or watching anything, but can be listened to while working, looking after the home or travelling about.
Radio is a powerful way to build trust with listeners, especially when we hear people like ourselves, talking about their own experiences and challenges, and how they have overcome them. Radio is even better when we hear people speaking and talking like we do.