Green-fingered talent to Shine on town’s radio service

Can you dig it?: Ann-Marie Powell, left, and Claire Vennis

Multi-award winning garden designer and TV gardening presenter Ann-Marie Powell is the latest recruit to Petersfield’s new radio station, Shine Radio.

Powell is to co-present a gardening show with Petersfield Community Radio stalwart Claire Vennis – who also co-presents the popular weekly podcast, the P pod. Powell joined Vennis and Joff Lacey on the P pod earlier in the year to talk about the challenges of gardening and its benefits for mental health.

And this proved the inspiration for the new show, called Growing Together, which will air monthly at, Petersfield’s dedicated 24/7 station which launched successfully last month.

Powell said: “It’s fabulous to be able to talk to people about what they might be doing in the garden and share what I’m doing as well. Hopefully we’ll get people growing.”

Drawing on her impressive garden-design experience and her successful ‘My Real Garden’ Instagram live broadcasts during lockdown, Powell gets back to the basics of gardening at home to offer advice and insights – all in an accessible and fun manner.

She and Vennis, an experienced amateur gardener, will chat about what to do each month in the garden as the year progresses – what they have enjoyed and what they are looking forward to, as well as garden success and failure stories as they swap tips and ideas. They may even throw in a challenge or two for each other and for the listeners to try as well.

Vennis added: “I’m thrilled Ann-Marie has agreed to join me on this garden chat. We have a great rapport and lots of experience between us. Obviously, she is the professional and I’m not – but hopefully that will make for some entertaining conversations.”

The first of the monthly shows will air on Shine Radio on Wednesday, at 8pm, to be followed by subsequent episodes at the beginning of each month. Eager to have local participation, the duo would welcome questions or comments from green-fingered listeners – email

To find out more about Petersfield’s Shine Radio and its brighter music mix – and all its additional audio content – visit or call 01730 5 55 500.

PRESS RELEASE: New radio station to shine on Petersfield

Petersfield will have its own 24-hour dedicated digital radio service when Shine Radio launches on Saturday, August 15.

Shine Radio is a leap into internet radio by the team at Petersfield Community Radio, which has been producing podcasts and online audio content for the town for more than 18 months.

It is available on any connected device – including mobile phones, laptops and smart speakers – promises ‘a brighter mix of great music’ along with local information, interviews and a ‘friendly voice’, and is available 24/7 as an online stream at It is aimed primarily at residents of the Hampshire market town and its surrounding villages, such as Buriton, East Meon, Hawkley, Liss, Rogate and “everything in-between”.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the community radio team turned its talents to producing a weekday news podcast for the area, with regular updates on available support, closures and how people could help others in the community. More than 100 editions of the Morning Report were scripted, presented, recorded and edited remotely from volunteers’ homes, while listening figures topped 19,000 during its run.

Almost 100 people were interviewed, with lockdown features as diverse as a hospital wedding – planned and performed in a week – and an 11-year-old fundraiser who walked to the top of Ben Nevis … on her home staircase.

Co-founder and resident Richard Gaisford, a familiar face to TV viewers as chief correspondent on ITV’s GMB, explained: “A few of us felt that Petersfield deserved its own radio station. The area has a lot going on and is bursting with talented, interesting people – but we always seem to be on the edge of coverage zones for existing ‘local’ radio stations.

“The launch of Petersfield’s Shine Radio, as a 24/7 online stream, is the third major step along the road to our ultimate aim of a DAB licence. Step one was creating a volunteer, not-for-profit organisation; step two was the launch of our podcast, the P pod, which has become a popular favourite with listeners.

“This is true local radio: produced locally, discussing local topics and presented by local people – there’s a good chance you’ll know at least one of the presenters.”

Fellow co-founder Stephen Martin, a radio professional with more than 30 years’ experience, added: “It is an amazing achievement in a town of our size to find sufficient volunteers to launch a radio station, but the support and effort put in by our team has been phenomenal, particularly throughout lockdown when the team stepped up to produce daily updates for more than four months.

“I am hugely proud of what the volunteers have achieved so far and for what we believe we can achieve in the future. We’d like to thank all our volunteers, and the businesses in the town that have welcomed us with open arms, and we hope, in return, our support has helped them survive and, hopefully, prosper in what have been difficult commercial times.”

Petersfield’s Shine Radio begins broadcasting at midday on Saturday, August 15, with a bright mix of music and local information. Its programmes include the Brighter Minds Quiz, with teacher Ian Crossman, every Saturday and Sunday night, and a book show with author Suzie Wilde.

The project is still welcoming volunteers, particularly those looking to be trained for either on- or off-air roles, such as production, editing, marketing, etc.

Commercial opportunities to sponsor the station or advertise on air are also available. Contact Stephen Martin or Kate Fairweather on or 01730 5 55 500 for more information.

To find out more about the new station visit or call 01730 5 55 500.


Information for journalists

● Shine Radio is the 24-hour broadcast service from Petersfield Community Radio – not-for-profit, limited by guarantee and operated by volunteers for social gain.

● Interviews with co-founders Stephen Martin and Richard Gaisford are available upon request.

● All Petersfield Community Radio content is available to download or stream from all normal podcast outlets, such as iTunes / Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and TuneIn.

For further information contact the project’s PR officer, Lucy Davies, on, or call 01730 5 55 500.

Current contact details: 

01730 5 55 500 

Instagram: Petersfield Community Radio

Twitter: @PetersfieldRad1

Facebook: Petersfield Community Radio

After August 15, the contact details will be:  

01730 5 55 500  

Petersfield podcast launched by community radio project

A regular podcast for and about the town has been launched by the people behind the Petersfield Community Radio project.

The P pod – which can be downloaded or streamed from all normal podcast outlets – is a major step towards what the all-volunteer project team hope will result in a broadcast licence from OFCOM.

The podcast is hosted by two Petersfield residents, Claire Vennis, a director of a film production company, and bank manager – and Winton Players regular – Joff Lacey. Yet, as Claire explained, their route from day job to podcast presenter has caught them both by surprise.

She said: “Both Joff and I originally went along to the inaugural meeting purely as the ‘responsible’ adult alongside our children. My 13-year-old daughter and Joff’s 16-year-old son were both interested in joining the Petersfield Community Radio project – and they remain involved – so we just accompanied them to the meeting.

“We were swept along by the enthusiasm of all involved and ended up looking to volunteer ourselves. The next thing we know we’re attending presenter auditions and now find ourselves fronting the P pod.”

Joff added: “It was totally unexpected, but we love it. It’s a great community thing to participate in; it’s fun, with friendly colleagues, and is a fabulous way to give something back to the community.”

The team behind the P pod is supported by broadcast industry veteran Stephen Martin and ITV’s Good Morning Britain’s chief correspondent, Richard Gaisford, who, also, both live locally.

The P pod will be available on a weekly basis and will feature interviews with local personalities, town businesses, clubs and associations, sports news and reports from local events, in addition to working alongside the Petersfield Post on local news items and acting as a platform for local issues. 

The current regular content – available on the project’s website at – including money news, local weather, fitness advice and walks with local author Suzie Wilde, will also be incorporated within the podcast.

■ If you have a story idea for the podcast or would like to join the volunteers behind the podcast and the Petersfield Community Radio project contact them at or on 01730 5 55 500.


Information for journalists

  • Petersfield Community Radio – creator of the P pod podcast – is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit project funded purely by donation and fundraising. 
  • It is partnered with four local schools –  Bedales, Churcher’s College, Ditcham Park and The Petersfield School (TPS) – and Antrobus House Business Centre and Petersfield Museum.
  • The P pod podcast is the second stage of the project, following on from its inauguration as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and operated by volunteers for social gain (registered number 11705881). This will be followed (hopefully) by an online, continuous radio stream and then the addition of a DAB and/or FM broadcast, subject to Ofcom approval.
  • The P pod may be downloaded or streamed from all normal podcast outlets – such as iTunes / Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and TuneIn – via smart speakers, including Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod or Google Home, or via or
  • An aural history project in partnership with the Petersfield Museum will run throughout the project and, we hope, leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
  • Petersfield Community Radio would welcome further volunteers or community partners. Please contact

For further information contact the project’s media officer Dave Bowers on, director Stephen Martin on, or call 01730 5 55 500.

Community Radio project is ‘on the mic’

The fledgling Petersfield Community Radio project has been able to buy essential recording equipment thanks to a four-figure donation from a business based in the town.

The project – which aims to start ‘broadcasting’ initially with a podcast in the summer – is already uploading stories and audio to its website, but is now looking to undertake more ambitious production with the purchase of handheld audio recorders and accessories, to capture stories around the town, and a pair of broadcast-quality microphones that can be used for interviews in any indoor location.

The donation came from financial planning company Informed Choice, based in Station Rd, and director Shelley McCarthy is hoping other local businesses will follow suit.

Shelley McCarthy, Director of Informed Choice

She said:

“This project is a great opportunity for the town of Petersfield, which is sorely underserved when it comes to local radio, owing to its location. But as it doesn’t have the backing of a media conglomerate it is being driven by a large group of enthusiastic volunteers, of which I am one.

“Hopefully other locally based businesses can see the potential there is here for a community radio station and join us in supporting it financially. We were delighted to become the project’s first donor and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Petersfield Community Radio’s Stephen Martin added:

“The donation from Informed Choice was most welcome and we’d like to thank them for supporting the concept so early in its development. The money has already proved a real boon and is enabling us to record a number of different features which will be used in long and short forms.

“We also have local business support from Antrobus House, which is providing our accountancy services, while we have partnered with four local schools – Bedales, Churcher’s College, Ditcham Park and The Petersfield School – and the town’s museum.

“The project is gaining momentum and we’d be delighted to hear from anybody else who would be keen to support it or volunteer to be a part of it.”

More information

To discover more about the Petersfield Community Radio project visit or email


Information for journalists

  • Petersfield Community Radio is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and operated by volunteers for social gain. Registered number 11705881.
  • More volunteers or sponsors are always welcome. To volunteer register at

For further information or to arrange to interview one of team behind the project, please contact Dave Bowers at or

Radio volunteers plan their project

More than 50 people attended the inaugural meeting of the new Petersfield community radio project, at The Petersfield School, on Saturday.

The chief correspondent for ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Richard Gaisford, welcomed everybody to the event and explained how he had taken his first steps in the media in community radio. He was followed by the project’s Stephen Martin, who explained the opportunities of radio as a medium before outlining the benefits for the town and the ambitious timeline of the station.

Martin said: “We were contacted in advance by more than 80 people who expressed an interest in volunteering for the project; more than 30 confirmed they would attend the meeting, yet on the day we had around 20 ‘new people’ turn up. That’s great news for the project and so typical of this

“It’s our intention to launch initially with a podcast, probably in June, which will then lead on to an internet stream and then, hopefully, a spot on local DAB or an FM frequency. It’s our ambition to be streaming content 24/7 from the autumn.

“That is obviously dependent on our having sufficient volunteers to cover all aspects of the project, from production right through to marketing. And we also need to ensure we are able to fundraise the minimum amount required to cover all the initial expenses.

It’s an ambitious schedule but we saw on Saturday the enthusiasm already present in the potential volunteers who attended the meeting.”

Martin, who has worked in the media sector for nearly 30 years, has christened the approach the team are taking an ‘open radio model’. It’s totally local in that it is produced by volunteers from the community, for members of the community. It is a completely not-for-profit project which has been constituted for social gain and will be supported by donations, grants and support from the local business community, both large and small.

Another volunteer, Dave Bowers, added: “Radio is still the most trusted medium out there and it reaches 90 per cent of the population on a weekly basis. We’re merely looking to reach the 15,000 people who live in this town of ours.

“We already have the support of The Petersfield School, Bedales, and Churcher’s College, and we will be using our contacts to recruit experienced media professionals who can help in providing training for pupils keen to take their first steps in media. In addition, we have also partnered with the Petersfield Museum, with whom we will be undertaking a comprehensive aural history project.

“It is our aim to make Petersfield community radio a soundtrack to the town’s festivals and public events; we will illuminate the creativity that powers our local arts scene and will be a public service to share opinion, ideas and experience. It’s a really exciting time for the town and its community.”

To illustrate the inclusive nature of the project – and after some coaching from the experienced Gaisford – one of the youngest volunteers, TPS year-eight pupil Julian Slusarczyk, interviewed one of the elder attendees, local author Rita Greer. His first attempt at interviewing may be heard on the project’s website.

The team behind Petersfield Community Radio would still like to hear from anybody who feels they would like to be part of the project or those who believe they have some of the key skills required to take it to the next stage.

The next meeting will be a Creative Event at Churcher’s College on Saturday 2 March. Further information can be found on the website at or by calling 01730 887399.

Breakfast TV stalwart to help set-up Petersfield radio station

ITV News correspondent Richard Gaisford
ITV News chief correspondent Richard Gaisford

A group of community-minded media professionals from the Petersfield area – including Richard Gaisford, ITV Good Morning Britain’s chief correspondent – are aiming to create a community radio station for the town, and hope potential volunteers will join them at a launch meeting in January.

Petersfield-based media executive Stephen Martin is also supporting the not-for-profit Petersfield Community Radio project and believes the station – which would be manned entirely by volunteers – would celebrate both the town and its residents and would sit comfortably alongside existing

He explained: “Community radio can serve an area like no other form of media and there’s a superb opportunity in Petersfield for people from all walks of local life to get involved. A community radio station, initially broadcast via the internet, would complement the newspapers and magazines already serving the town.”

“We’re very excited about the potential here in Petersfield because it’s a town with a fabulous community ethos and we hope we can tap into that energy and utilise the various talents of people who will volunteer to make a real success of the project.”

“We’ve had a very positive response from community groups, other media and schools – including both TPS and Churcher’s – we’ve approached and we are planning to move forward with the project in early 2019.”

Gaisford began his career in hospital radio before spending the last 19 years on breakfast TV, reporting on major conflicts, natural disasters and political turmoil around the world. Having lived in the area with his family for more than 16 years, he was keen to throw his weight behind the project.

He explained: “I think it’s a great idea for the town and the emphasis on ‘community’ and ‘social good’ can only be beneficial all round. I’m keen to help out with the project whenever my schedule would allow, particularly as it will help bring all ages together with a common goal.”

Martin has already utilised his extensive contacts book to secure the services of a team of professional broadcasters and producers who will help develop skills – such as interviewing, editing, production and story treatment – in the station’s broadcast volunteers.

But, as he added, there is a lot more to be done behind the scenes as well as on the microphone. He said: “The actual broadcasting is just the part of the project of which the listener is aware – there is a lot of other work to be done that will enable us to launch and maintain the service, such as graphic design, web design, equipment, promotion, sales etc.”

“We already have a local accountant and a lawyer who have volunteered their services to help with the legal and financial side of things – but there are many roles to be filled by people who have no intention of getting behind the mic.”

“It’s something residents can really get involved with, enjoy and witness the benefits themselves; it will be created by volunteers from the local community, for the community, and everyone is welcome to become a part of it.”

As well as a source for ‘What’s On’ information to support the town’s own events and social activities, the station will aim to provide entertainment, community reporting, and a daily connection between people from all walks of local life – all for social gain. It will also act as a public forum in which to share opinion, ideas and experience.

Martin would like to hear from anybody interested in participating in the project in advance of the meeting, for which a time and place is yet to be finalised. To register interest in becoming a part of Petersfield Community Radio, simply email Stephen Martin at with your contact details and area of interest.