From Blink FM to BBC 5 Live

Jon Wilkinson, a former Blink FM volunteer and current broadcaster for BBjon wilkinson Blink FMC 5 Live shares some of his experiences as a young person at Wycombe Youth Action. 

“I’m a sports journalist and broadcaster for BBC 5Live and BBC Sport, and I owe Wycombe Youth Action and Blink FM a lot. I can assure you that I use the skills I picked up at the radio station project every day. It demonstrably helped me and enabled me to help others.

“Experiencing radio for the first time gave me self-confidence at a time when I needed it, and something – a show – to work hard at and be proud of.”

I remember being there at the very first meeting in 2002, and the sense of excitement amongst the teenagers who’d be in charge of running the station. We broadcasted out of a little portacabin in the Wycombe High School grounds, and there was a real sense of anticipation walking in there to start a show. I think we were inordinately pleased to get that first text or call from a listener, and the many which followed!

I returned as a volunteer for three more years, and as a programme controller before I moved away from the area.

“It gave teenagers like me something productive to be doing with our  time and transferable skills – practical and social.”

Blink FM led to university radio, which led to local radio and now 5Live. One would not have existed without the other, and a lot of very happy memories wouldn’t have existed at all without the project.”