Third Sector Awards 2014: Enterprise - Winner: Prison Radio Association

Awarded to the social enterprise or charity trading arm that has made a significant difference to beneficiaries through its ability to generate income to meet its social goals

National Prison Radio reaches 60,000 prisoners a week, raising awareness of the Prison Radio Association
National Prison Radio reaches 60,000 prisoners a week, raising awareness of the Prison Radio Association

This award is sponsored by Ansvar

What does it do?

PRA Productions was set up last year as the trading arm of the Prison Radio Association, the charity that developed and runs National Prison Radio, a national radio station that reaches 60,000 prisoners every week. It also involves teams of prisoners in producing programmes.

How does it make money?

PRA Productions produces material for other organisations that need to communicate with prisoners, such as charities and government departments. These programmes are broadcast on National Prison Radio alongside the organisation’s own output, which aims to help prisoners make the most of their time in prison and prevent  them from reoffending. It also runs radio production training for organisations working in areas such as addiction treatment, and produces documentaries for national BBC Radio networks.

What has it achieved?

During its first year of trading, PRA Productions generated £134,000 of
new business for the Prison Radio Association – more than 20 per cent of the charity’s annual turnover. By raising revenue through trading, the charity is becoming less reliant on the grant-giving sector. PRA Productions has made 18 programmes for BBC Radio, one of which won a Sony Radio Academy Award.

What did the judges say?

Elanor Hoskin, chief executive of Chicks, said: "It generated an impressive amount of income in its first year and produced documentaries that could reduce offending."

Highly commended



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