It’s not every day you find your work recognised on a platform that celebrates the best in business innovation for Harrogate & District. Yet, here I am, as the guy behind the tech of Harrogate Community Radio, basking in the glow of the station winning the “Best Use of Digital” category at The Stray Ferret Business Awards 2024. As the head of tech at the station, this achievement isn’t just mine; it’s a testament to the relentless spirit of the entire team at the station and the community we’ve built together.

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The genesis of our digital endeavour

From the outset, Harrogate Community Radio was more than just a project; it was a mission fuelled by passion and a desire to make a difference. As one of the founders, I’ve seen it grow from a mere idea into a vibrant community platform. Our goal was clear: to cut through the digital noise and connect with our listeners in meaningful ways. Working closely with the other admins, we’ve poured our hearts into creating a space that not only entertains but also educates and inspires.

The challenges we faced

The journey wasn’t without its challenges. In today’s digital era, making your voice heard above the cacophony is no small feat. My strategy for the station involved a multifaceted digital approach: an intuitive website, a user-friendly Alexa app, a mobile app for on-the-go listening, and a robust streaming platform. Perhaps one of our proudest innovations is the Listen Again function, allowing our audience to engage with content on their terms. Behind the scenes, setting up a Slack workspace for our hosts ensured seamless communication and collaboration, keeping our tech-savvy and not-so-tech-savvy members alike in perfect harmony.

The award-winning result

The moment we learned about our win, as represented by Paul Fogarty and his husband, Graham Mather, was surreal. The excitement and pride in our achievement were palpable. Paul’s message on Slack captured the essence of our journey: “We won an award, guys!!! Congratulations to the whole family. You make it a pleasure to be part of something special. Big love to Andy who keeps all us tech-idiots working. Xxx.” This accolade is a reflection of our collective effort and the spirited community that has supported us every step of the way.

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A nod to the future

Winning the “Best Use of Digital” award is not just a milestone; it’s an indicator for our future intentions. It reaffirms our commitment to innovation, to pushing boundaries, and to making Harrogate Community Radio a staple in our listeners’ lives.

Call to action

If you are keen to listen to the station, visit the Harrogate Community Radio website and immerse yourself in the vibe we’ve created. Whether you’re tuning in for the first time or you’re a long-time listener, there’s always something new to discover.

Conclusion

This award is a tribute to everyone who has been a part of Harrogate Community Radio – our team, our listeners, and our supporters. It’s a symbol of what we can achieve together, blending technology with creativity to forge connections that matter. Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. Here’s to many more milestones, together.

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