Grassroots station Reprezent Radio has launched an emergency crowdfunder

 (Ask Kleeves/PR Handout)
(Ask Kleeves/PR Handout)

Reprezent Radio is calling for donations to its emergency crowdfunder. The youth-led community radio station has been helping young people to break into broadcast media since it began airing in 2011, but currently faces closure following a number of funding cuts.

The station was founded over a decade ago, and broadcasts out of three shipping containers at Pop Brixton. As well as airing the first ever radio interview with Stormzy, Reprezent were early champions of acts such as Ray BLK, Nadia Rose and Jorja Smith. But now, they need to raise £100,000 in order to stay open.

As well as providing a platform for over 40 emerging young presenters every week, Reprezent offers a number of media training and volunteering opportunities: 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova and comedian Munya Chawawa are just two names who have risen up through the Reprezent ranks.

Funding will also help the station to continue offering guidance and support for new presenters and artists, one to one mentorship programs, and training programs that introduce young people to the world of broadcast media.

Earlier this year, rising dance star Sherelle told the Standard that the station played a vital part in nurturing her creative talent growing up; the DJ and producer now hosts a BBC 6 Music show dedicated to showcasing high-tempo genres such as footwork, jungle, and breakbeat. “I was raised by Reprezent, the radio station in south London,” she said. “They gave me free space to basically learn how to do radio production; how to actually be the producer, the presenter, a DJ…. Without their contribution to my career, it would’ve been a totally different story.”

According to the station, funding for youth services has plummeted by 77 per cent over the last decade ‒ a £1bn decrease in real terms. Hundreds of youth clubs have already been forced to close, but at the same time 63 percent of youth organisations are seeing more demand than ever. Reprezent currently has 2,500 young people on their waiting list hoping to access support.

“The cost of delivering our training is at an all-time high, while income availability is at an all-time low,” the station writes on their crowdfunder. “We pay the bills with grants, donations, sponsorship and broadcast commissions, but post-pandemic these are becoming harder and harder to obtain.”

You can donate to Reprezent’s crowdfunder here.