At Work: Communications - Medium and message

Indira Das-Gupta

CSV's Action Desks project helps local community groups recruit volunteers with the support of BBC radio stations.

Volunteering organisation CSV's Action Desk project provides a link between community groups that need volunteers and BBC local radio audiences.

The desks will be encouraging the public to take part in the charity's annual Make a Difference Day, which occurs on 28 October.

CSV has a presence at all 36 BBC local radio stations: Action Desk reporters (including volunteers) gather information and news about volunteering opportunities in their areas, which are broadcast on the local stations.

Bulletins are based on live interviews or are pre-recorded and might consist of a call for someone to drive a minibus for a children's group, for example.

There are wide variations in how the desks operate, but most put out three or four bulletins a day and collectively they can reach up to 10 million listeners a week. The desks are staffed with the help of volunteers, mainly media studies students who wish to gain practical experience.

Jason Moyes, regional broadcast manager for CSV's Action Desks in northern England, says: "Action Desk staff tend to spend as much time as possible out and about, meeting local groups and building up relationships.In this way, they come across good stories for the station, so it's very much a two-way thing."

Moyes said the majority of people who listen to the bulletins are over 50. "We are working with the BBC's regional Where I Live websites to reach a much younger demographic," he says.

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