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BBC local radio keeping communities connected with ‘make a difference’

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Local BBC radio stations up and down the country have launched ‘Make a Difference’ to help keep communities connected across England during the Coronavirus crisis.

All 39 BBC local radio stations have joined with volunteer groups to help get messages across of support in local communities and in particular, information that can help people who are most vulnerable or at risk, making sure people know that help is available in their area and how to access it.

Bringing listeners all the latest developments in this fast moving situation, and keeping them connected and in touch with their community, the regular news updates are every 30 minutes across local BBC radio stations.

There have already been examples of fantastic acts of kindness from listeners.  BBC Radio WM in Birmingham tweeted how a taxi company had contacted them to offer free pick-ups of supplies or shopping for the most vulnerable and had delivered 50 parcels for free. 

The head of digital and audio for BBC England Chris Burns said, “It’s a testing time for the country and BBC local radio will do what it does best and help people to bring communities together and tell the good news stories too of how people are coming together to support each other and make a real difference, during this unprecedented situation.”

The BBC also announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, would this weekend lead the first in a series of weekly church services broadcast on all 39 local radio stations. This ‘national wireless congregation’ will be led by a leader from a different denomination each Sunday at 8am. Special shows for other faiths will also be broadcast.

Helen Thomas, director of BBC England said, “Just because people are self-isolating doesn’t mean they have to feel isolated. Local radio has a unique role as a community hub: disseminating information, airing views and being a constant companion to listeners, and this has never been more important than now.

“We hope this national wireless congregation will allow thousands, if not millions, of people to worship during this difficult time.”

If you are offering help or if you need help, then get in touch with your BBC local radio station.  Contact details for each station can be found at bbc.co.uk/makeadifference

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