- BBC Radio to provide free DAB radios to over-70s
- Radios to be given away due to isolation caused by coronavirus
- Broadcaster partners manufacturers, retailers and charity for giveaway
The broadcaster’s local radio unit will give away free DAB radio units to over-70s nominated by local listeners, as part of the BBC’s Make a Difference campaign.
The project is running across all 39 of the BBC’s local radio stations in England, with partners - including Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis & Partners, Pure and Roberts Radio – setting aside thousands of radios to give away.
The radios will be distributed by loneliness charity Wavelength, while manufacturer Duracell has agreed to provide batteries for free for the radios.
Tony Hall, the outgoing director-general of the BBC, said: “Local radio is a lifeline at this time and has never been more important as a source of trusted local news and information, and also as a companion for people who are isolating.
”Make A Difference is already having a huge impact right across the country with 28,000 thousand calls in just five days. It is offering support and practical solutions to people who have nowhere else to turn.
“We want everyone who needs access to the radio to have it, that’s why we’re giving away DAB radios. I’m proud we’ve been able to coordinate this initiative with our partners who have been so generous in offering their resources.”
One in four people in the UK go days without speaking to people, according to research from digital radio brand Pure. With the UK in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, that figure is likely to rise, especially among older people who are the most vulnerable.
WaveLength chief executive Tim Leech said: “WaveLength has been fighting loneliness for the last 80 years. We are delighted to come together with all partners to help provide radios to those over 70s most in need. This is what Wavelength was born to do!”
Make a Difference is a coordinated campaign run across all of 39 BBC Local Radio stations in England. It aims to work as a virtual community notice board, linking together those who want to give help with those in need. Since it started, the BBC’s local radio stations have been receiving more than 8,000 calls a day from members of the public.
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