Community Radio Awards: ‘Station of the Year’ nod for MônFM

MônFM has been nominated for Station of the Year at the 2020 Community Radio Awards.

The bilingual station serving Anglesey and North West Wales has reached the shortlist for the third year running.

Last year, the station won its first major industry prize when it took Gold for its live sports programme MonFM Sport.

Over ninety community stations from across the UK have entered this year’s awards, which will be held virtually on Saturday 12th December.

Tony Wyn Jones, MônFM’s acting chairman said the station’s management were ”very proud” of its achivements.

He added: ”Being nominated for ‘Radio Station of the Year’ in a national shortlist is a great honour.”

”Our volunteers have gone the extra mile during very difficult circumstances, and each and every one of them has stepped up to the challenge of delivering reliable local news, sport, entertainment and Coronavirus updates from their own homes – this is what local community radio is all about.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, MônFM’s team of volunteer presenters, producers, journalists and engineers have been working remotely from home studios, producing up to 90 hours a week of on-air output.

The station has also worked with local councils, organisations and politicians across Anglesey and Gwynedd to produce regular in-depth programmes on the coronavirus outbreak in the region.

The MônFM newsroom has also expanded its brief, introducing regular Drivetime bulletins in Welsh alongside MônFM Update in English, extra traffic & weather updates and an online news service.

Carwyn Jones, who presents Drivetime on Mondays, said: ”We’re delighted to have been recognised as just a handful of radio stations right across the UK who are also doing great work, especially during the pandemic.”

”It’s one thing keeping the technical side going remotely, but the station would be nowhere without its volunteers – who really enjoy giving something back to society – helping others in time of crisis is a really good feeling!”

Among other stations nominated, Bro Radio, serving Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan, has been nominated in four categories – including Station of the Year, which is currently held by ALL FM in Manchester.

The other nominees for the prize are Express FM in Portsmouth, Pride Radio – serving the LGBT community in North East England – and Irish-language station Raidió Fáilte in Belfast, which won Station of the Year in 2018.

Long-serving hospital station Radio Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, has also made the shortlist for the first time, after it was nominated for Digital / RSL Station of the Year.

On a poignant note, two-time winner Julie Donaldson from Zetland FM in Redcar and Cleveland has been nominated for Best Female Presenter.

The popular breakfast show presenter, who co-hosted last year’s event in Barry, died in October after she was taken to hospital with COVID.

Martin Steers, Community Radio Awards chair, said: ”This year has been a challenge for the sector, but community radio stations have responded by stepping up engagement with their local communities, with more programming and innovative presenters across the country broadcasting from home.”

”It is clear to see from this, that passionate presenters, volunteers, and staff are really there for their audiences. These local radio stations are truly at the heart of their communities.”

”We wish MônFM good luck and can’t wait to host the ceremony virtually next month.”

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Eich Gorsaf, Eich Llais / Your Station, Your Voice