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Ron Short Centre takes to the airwaves thanks to the Sure Community Foundation

The Sure Community Foundation has donated £5,000 to the Ron Short Centre in support of its social enterprise programme.  One member, Kiri Knight, is even taking to radio airways with the help of two well-known local journalists.

The social enterprise programme is designed to help ensure that all islanders with physical or sensory disabilities have access to the dignity of meaningful work.  It offers members a variety of different job opportunities, ranging from making products to sell to working in the shop at the centre. The Community Foundation’s contribution is funding essential new equipment that enables members with disabilities to accomplish tasks on a more equal level to non-disabled people.  For example, the Sure Community Foundation donation has allowed The Ron Short Centre to purchase height-adjustable tables, making work accessible to wheelchair users and people with back problems.

Kiri, who is blind has been offered the unique opportunity to work as a radio DJ, which has been a long-standing dream of hers. Thanks to the support of the Sure Community Foundation, this dream is becoming a reality. Following ongoing training by well-known Island FM journalist Jim Delbridge and former BBC Radio Guernsey presenter Kay Langlois, she has already been conducting her own interviews for the Centre’s forthcoming Disability Confidence Training programme, a new social enterprise.

Ron Short Centre Managing Director Rob Harnish said “we are extremely grateful to the Sure Community Foundation for helping us to help others.  Kiri has started with an in-house show, ‘Kiri's Happy Hour’.  With professional equipment bought with our grant from the Foundation, she is now working towards putting it online.  And from there, we are aiming for Jubilee radio at the PEH.  After that … let’s see!"

In total, 33 disabled people have benefitted from the programme, which helps to develop their confidence along with other social and entrepreneurial skills.  Some are preparing to work as trainers, to help people in the wider community build disability confidence.

Lucienne De La Mare of the Community Foundation said “we are pleased to support the great work being done at the Ron Short Centre. 18% of the Guernsey population is disabled and they reflect an important, often underrepresented segment of our community.  We were particularly excited to support Kiri’s experience on the radio, and I can’t wait to hear her show for myself once it goes live.”

All proceeds raised by the programme will go back into the Ron Short Centre.