16 May 2022

Derry community radio station warns that without more financial support it will not survive

Fundraising event being held this week for Drive 105

Felix Healy

Felix Healy is one of the presenters on Drive 105.

A Derry-based community radio station has warned that without more financial support it will not survive.

Drive 105 is run on a voluntary basis and relies on advertising income to stay on the air.

However, the station's income has crashed by almost 75% as a result of the coronavirus lockdown and its impact on the local economy.

In a bid to secure the money needed to keep the station going, a host of local singers will take part in a fundraising event this week.

On Thursday, June 18, at 7.30pm, they will all perform on Drive 105's Facebook page.

Viewers will be encouraged to make a donation to support the station.

Drive 105 spokesperson Felix Healy said it had been a tough few months for the station which was first launched in 2009.

“Although the station is run on an entirely voluntary basis, there are minimum costs associated with maintaining this essential service which are unavoidable,” he said.

“After carrying out a review of our financial situation this year taking into account the impact of COVID-19 in the next 6 months specifically, we anticipate a 74% reduction in our advertising income.

“Any support we receive will go towards maintaining the service until local businesses etc are in a position to afford advertising again.

“Without financial support, Drive 105 will not be able to continue providing this essential service to the local community and its volunteers.”

Mr Healy said the local station has played an import role during the pandemic.

“Today with everyone practicing social distancing due to COVID-19, Drive 105’s role has become even more essential.

“At a time when people need their families and friends most they are feeling isolated or disconnected.

“They can’t even attend their local church and this is devastating for them.

“Others are negatively impacted due to all local leisure and entertainment facilities stopping.

“This is having an enormous impact on the general health and wellbeing of those affected by it.

“The feedback we have been receiving from our listeners is that Drive 105 has been an essential service in helping them cope and reduce that sense of isolation.”

Mr Healy said Drive 105 was able to help the local community connected in recent months.

“We are able to broadcast weekly religious services and this is particularly important for those vulnerable members of our society who don’t access social media,” he said.

“In addition for our volunteers, the station is an important aspect of their lives in terms of confidence building and skills development and provides an important sense of purpose.

“Although they are having to self-isolate, our volunteers are able to broadcast from their homes which has reduced the impact of COVID-19 on them as well as our listeners.”

Among the performers taking part in Thursday's fundraising event are Una Dunne, Meadbh Mc Ginley, Colum Mc Laughlin, Dale Thomas, duets William and Caitlin and Felix Healy and Yvonne Holmes.

Listeners and supporters will have the opportunity to donate to Drive 105 through

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Derry GAA

Conor Doherty of Derry, celebrates his side's third goal, scored by Benny Heron, during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Derry and Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds.

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