We hope our listeners and their families are safe and well at this time.

FM99.3 is still broadcasting. We will keep doing so. That is not in question

But first let’s talk about you.

Our listeners like everyone else are all making changes in family or working lives. None of this is easy. None of us has done this before.But the reality is that it is not all about the virus itself. How do we stay safe without being in a cocoon? How do we talk about other things? How do we make new concepts work like “working from home” or going about daily life differently for significant events? Maybe significant events may not be what matters. Maybe the hard part will turn out to be mundane things we took for granted?

At FM99.3 we are doing it differently just now and pausing things to get it right. To get it safe. More adaptions will be made -as they say- to resume normal programming. We want your regular presenters on air as soon as safely possible. The idea of any pit stop is to get back in the race.

But our listeners have to adapt too. So we hope we can help each other along the way. This is not a new concept for a creative passionate team. The medical legal regulatory and other environments are moving rapidly and not always uniformly. None of us can or should crystal ball. The passion of volunteers to do their best for their community is impressive. We respect that.  But the truth is that Coronavirus will not. So we must minimise risks to them but also their families neighbours, friends -perhaps the children they teach or the wider community and longer term the ability to be on air. Other stations will respond differently and what they do today may not be what they do tomorrow. A key consideration is resources available. Our resources are limited. And the regulatory environment is complex and changing rapidly.

Northside Radio supports Governments Councils doctors and others wanting to “flatten the curve” Our learning curves pale in comparison. Even so, they may seem steep at times.Some may ask: Why not just go in and keep a bit apart from each other? That is both the easy option and the risky one. Minimum mandatory requirements such as social distancing do not guarantee optimum safety. Mostly that suggestion is backed by a prediction it will be followed perfectly at all times and by everyone entirely without supervision and with full understanding and self-awareness and without human error. This is against human experience although the reasons were understandable.

It will be a difficult journey for the community. We are part of that journey. We hope to play more than a small part in leading and supporting the community we serve

Richard Bell.