A groundbreaking #BBCopenair project

On Friday 05/10/2018 BBC Radio Leeds awarded certificates to our drug and alcohol recovery Growing Rooms lads in recognition of the brilliant work they did for the Open Air project.

This groundbreaking #BBCopenair project ran workshops where our guys were trained on interview techniques, editing, timing and lots more. These interviewing and presentation master classes were designed to give them a taste of broadcasting, improve their confidence and develop new skills to help gain future employment.

They interviewed guests from the world of sport and politics. These included the likes of IBF Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington, Leeds City Council Chief Executive Tom Riordan MP for Elmet and Rothwell Alec Shelbrooke and former government Director of Communications Alistair Campbell.

‘The whole element of it was that yes we get a programme out of this but it’s the process as we go along which is the most important thing.’

According to BBC Radio Leeds’ Sarah Wakefield, the programme came about after observing the work that the Crypt does to build up confidence and skills with a view of getting people back into the workplace, making people feel good about themselves.

She said:

“The idea was to create more than just a programme but to also do some workshops, because the whole element of it was that yes we get a programme out of this but it’s the process as we go along which is the most important thing, learning new skills and building on the amazing work that’s already taking place here at the Crypt. I think it’s been a learning curve for everybody. What really stood out is how much you all embraced it; you went out and did your own research and what you achieved is brilliant.”

Chris Fields St George’s Crypt CEO said:

When John (Growing Rooms Therapeutic Drug & Alcohol Worker) came with the idea, he had to go through hot coals to sell it to senior management. We do not want to fail, it reflects badly on the lads as well if there is potential to fail.

 However the project was a success with Chris adding:

 We heard positive things every time; there were no negative comments that came back from the BBC or from the interviews so we knew it was going to be a winner.

 We heard positive things every time.’

Speaking at the ceremony, Managing Editor @BBCLeeds Sanjiv Buttoo said he initially had his doubts about the project.

“My first thoughts were this is not going to happen, it takes a lot of commitment and there is not enough of it, I thought, you wont stick it out, people will fall by the way side”

 He did however apply for funding for the project and got a resounding yes straightway! They were very keen because both the Crypt and the BBC are all about partnerships and working with different communities.

Sanjiv adds:

“I waited until the programme was completed before having a listen. I was pleasantly surprised because it turned out really really well! It sounds brilliant, it’s as if we were working with a group who have been with us for quite a while”

 “We have entered it for a few awards and we look forward to will seeing how well it does because we think it’s quite a strong entry. Congratulations, you should be proud of yourselves.”

The Open Air programme was broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds on 30 August. The BBC is looking to air it again around Christmas time and also around Easter. This is testament of the quality of work our lads produced because according to BBC Radio Leeds, they create a fair few programme and documentaries during the course of the year but only a few ever get a re run.

‘we knew it was going to be a winner!’

The Growing Rooms is a residential drug and alcohol therapeutic recovery service working with up to 20 people, supporting them through class based recovery paired with volunteering and employment readiness training. The goal is to support them back into the community with as stable a foundation as possible; job ready, in work, volunteering and ready to live a full and fulfilled life.

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