On the 11th of May, Newcastle Student Radio broadcasted for 24 hours in order to raise money and awareness for homelessness in the North East. The stream was hosted by Bridie Lonsdale, Joe Smith, Louis Grantham and Vicky Mepstead.
Last December, the Office for National Statistics revealed that around 120 homeless people had died in the North East between 2013 and 2017, with 32 of those people dying in 2017 alone. NSR’s broadcast aimed to challenge misconceptions surrounding homelessness, give information to students and listeners as to how they can provide effective and meaningful aid, as well as raising awareness of the state of homelessness in the North East and across the country.
“As students living and working in Newcastle, homelessness is something we all encounter day in day out." Bridie Lonsdale reflects. "Often, we don’t know how we can help make a positive longterm impact, so it was really important that this broadcast sought to inform students and listeners about NGO’s and charities who work to end homelessness, as well as the ways that can help if they are concern about someone sleeping rough in the city and across the country.”
Their goal was to raise £500 for Emmaus North East, Street Link and Youth Homelessness North East. Representatives from all three charities made appearances throughout the broadcast to discuss the homelessness problem in Newcastle and surrounding areas.
However, the stream also involved light-hearted segments such as quizzes and “trebles bar tunes”.
Social media was a huch part of the event's success. NSR's Twitter account (@ThisIsNSR) live-tweeted the stream using #ThisIsNSR24Hours, engaging followers with polls and controversial maps of the North-South divide. The Go Fund Me page was shared around 268 times over Facebook and Twitter.
The group reached their goal an hour before the stream ended. As it stands, the Go Fund Me page has received over £715 from 72 donators. They also took donations at this year's Media Awards.
Joe Smith, a member of the team, is pleased with how the show went.
“I think it went really well. We raised way over our target goal which is absolutely incredible! It shows that all the work that went into it was worth it and just how generous people are.”
Harry Parsons, NSR’s station manager, said: “We were so proud of all the work the guys put in. This was months in the planning and it showed. They not only went out to challenge themselves and profile what NSR do best but also raised an incredible amount of money for a charity they all cared about so much. They absolutely aced it.”
Louis Grantham commented that they didn't think they would make it to the end.
“What kept us going was that we knew how many supported us and the important cause we were raising for.
“I would never do it again but I’m so glad I did."