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Arts & Culture

Instore Radio launches free online radio station to help communities stay connected

A North East company, which supplies the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with bespoke background music, has launched a free online radio station to reach out to the community far and wide.

Instore Radio has launched, to help connect with people, especially those isolating on their own.

Like many other businesses, the coronavirus pandemic brought Instore Radio’s trade to a halt, which is what inspired them to do what they do best and entertain people over the airwaves.

The radio station is accessed through Instore Radio’s website. There are no adverts, no news bulletins, just music and shout outs to the community near and far.

Company director, Debbie Foster and business partner Lee are operating Stay at Home FM out of their respective homes, using a pop-up recording studio as well as receiving assistance from voice over volunteers who are contributing to the station.

Lee said: “Having the IT and streaming infrastructure in place meant that Stay at Home FM was a no brainer.

“It’s our way of turning a negative into a positive and with our experience working in commercial radio, it was something we both wanted to do. It keeps our mental health stable too, as these are challenging times for us all.

Debbie added: “We are very familiar with how our mental health can spiral out of control, so we wanted to connect with people and let them know that their loved ones are thinking of them.

“We also feel that many business owners out there who have ceased trading also need a lift and something to keep them connected.

“When people hear a mention from their loved ones on the radio, as well as listening to good music, we know that it lifts their spirits and has a positive impact.”

Lee and Debbie met many years ago when they both worked at Metro Radio. Forming a strong friendship, they became North East business partners and created Instore Radio in 1999.

Over the years they’ve successfully secured contracts to supply bespoke streamed music and customer adverts to many outlets including Lookers, Fenwick, Slaters, Benetton, Raithwaites Hotel & Spa, Ramside Hall, Hardwick Hall, Dalton Park, Crown Leisure, Calendar Club, TJ Hughes as well as the Fat Hippo group, a North East gourmet burger chain.

Due to COVID-19, all but one of their clients have had to close their doors, but Debbie and Lee are staying positive that their clients will come back stronger than ever.