Gateway 97.8 celebrates 10 years on air

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Basildon and Thurrock’s local radio station, Gateway 97.8, celebrated ten years on air last Friday.

The station, which first broadcast on 97.8 FM ten years ago, marked the occasion with a socially-distanced celebration featuring some famous faces.

Hard-working volunteers received a visit from radio royalty Diddy David Hamilton, who presents Million Sellers every Sunday afternoon on the Gateway 97.8. The members also raised a glass of Bucks Fizz as they welcomed pop star Cheryl Baker to the studios, based in the Eastgate Centre, Basildon.

Over the past ten years, the community radio station has won many awards, most recently the Princess Royal Training Awards, for its contributions to the local area. Other awards include the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award and the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.

Gateway 97.8 Director Danny Lawrence said: "I am delighted that Gateway 97.8 is a strong community player and continues its great work within Basildon and Thurrock.”

The radio station has also been pivotal in The Radio Hub’s ‘On The Radio’ campaign, which has distributed thousands of free radios to the vulnerable across the country.

This runs alongside Gateway 97.8’s coronavirus response, which has helped many local residents keep up-to-date and safe in the past six months.

Commenting on the success of the campaign, Director Ros Connors said: “We are in very troubled times, and the pandemic is causing much stress and anxiety. With the situation constantly changing, the radio station is fully committed to providing as much helpful, and up-to-date information to our listeners as possible."

Happy 10th birthday to Gateway 97.8, which is on air 24/7 on 97.8FM or online at www.gateway978.com.