Press release

Gateway 97.8 in Basildon is the latest Big Society Award winner

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Radio station provides valuable support for local charities.

Gateway 97.8, a community radio station in Basildon which aims to enrich the lives of young people and to tackle antisocial behaviour, is the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award.

Set up 4 years ago, Gateway 97.8 both helps young and unemployed people to gain experience in radio and runs clubs and projects with local job centres to help those in hard to reach areas. The station also delivers a diverse range of community radio shows including the African Show, ‘Schools Out’ - where the show is handed over to local school children, and ‘Live and Loud’ - giving local unsigned bands the chance to reach a wider audience. Gateway’s achievement was recognised last year when it was granted a full-time license and it recently celebrated its first year of all-day broadcasting.

Gateway is run entirely by volunteers and as a community station it also offers free advertising and support to local charities including Boxes for Soldiers, Maggie’s Pet Rescue and DIALBasildon. They have been able to offer work experience to over 200 school children in the last year, many of whom had behavioural problems.

Congratulating Gateway 97.8 on the award, the Prime Minister said:

Gateway 97.8 provides a fantastic service for the local community in Basildon. The training courses and work experience opportunities it offers to local students and unemployed people help them to gain valuable skills to gain employment. They have also provided valuable support for local charities, both through giving them time on air and by getting involved with activities like sleeping rough to raise money for local homeless charities.

I’m delighted to be able to present this award and wish Gateway every success in growing to reach even more people and continuing to provide a true community radio service.

Accepting the award, Business Development Director Danny Lawrence said:

This most prestigious Award underscores the value of Gateway 97.8 in providing a personal career development route for people of all ages. It is a great tribute to the work, enthusiasm and care of our team that we have received this Award after just our first year of full-time broadcasting.

Notes to editors

Gateway 97.8 is the local community radio station for the Basildon and East Thurrock areas ofSouth Essex, providing news, sport and information to the local population. It reflects the interests, tastes, backgrounds, cares and concerns of local communities. It aims to introduce new ideas and new music and keep a caring and critical eye on the activities of politicians, local and national. Gateway also offers accredited media courses and 24 students have passed level 1 or level 2 - equivalent to a GCSE.

Gateway 97.8  contact details:

Danny Lawrence: 01268 833 978 or 07903 265 726 or