Make a Difference, a virtual notice board, has had over a million people use the venture.
“Radio has the power to bring people together and while COVID19 is a global pandemic, it’s impact had been very localised and local radio has been uniquely placed to respond. The number of calls we continue to receive shows the power of community and the contribution local radio can make by getting closer to its listeners. We maybe emerging from lockdown but I want MAD to stay.” – Chris Burns, Head of BBC Audio and Digital
At the start of Lockdown Local Radio launched Make a Difference – a virtual notice board for those offering help and those needing support. One hundred days in, over a million people have either called or messaged their local BBC radio station. Thousands of texts, social media messages and calls pinged into stations every day pulling communities together and filling the airwaves with uplifting stories of the kindness of strangers.
It was the BBC Three Counties Radio Make A Difference (MAD) team who first shared the story of Captain Tom Moore. He captured listeners’ hearts when he set out to do 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise money for the NHS. Soon the rest of the world was cheering him on too helping him to raise over 33,000,000 pounds
In Essex a couple and their five pets were left camping out in the garden after their house caught fire, after a call to their local BBC station they moved into a house that evening.
On Radio Devon a key worker named Bob phoned in and said he was down to his last pair of decent shoes after walking five miles a day to work. With no internet access or shops open, he couldn’t find a new pair but a listener soon called in with a pair of size 12s to drop off for Bob.
Radio Solent helped listener Hannah set up a virtual 70th wedding anniversary party for her great grandparents. An appeal on BBC Radio Tees resulted in two tablets being donated to James Cook Hospital so patients in palliative care can safely be in touch with their loved ones from their hospital beds.
BBC Radio Leicester tracked down Grace the nurse who helped an elderly widower in hospital with Covid-19 have much-needed Facetime chats with his family. The station got Grace on air so the family could thank her for everything.
“Your local BBC Radio station is supporting listeners with their Make A Difference campaign – keeping people connected by sharing help and good news. Over 1,009,575 have called or text into one of the 39 BBC local radio stations since the beginning of lockdown.” – BBC