Richard Dawson smashes £1K target from one-man 50+hr Radiothon focusing on community isolation

Long Eaton Wickes -- Cr Clowes Developments (UK) Ltd

Erewash Sound presenter Richard Dawson, who spent over 50 hours on the air on an outside broadcast, has doubled and smashed through a £1,000 target.

Richard began his marathon mission from his regular Sunday morning breakfast time slot of 8am on Sunday 25th February, and did not come off air until 12noon on Tuesday 27th February, with an outside broadcast studio having been set up in the café area of The Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton.

For the duration of the Radiothon, which totalled 54 hours from start to finish, Richard worked to raise awareness of the impact of preventing isolation through community and belonging, and money for two local charities which carry out work in those areas – Everyone Eats and Hope Long Eaton.  Money was also raised for Erewash Sound (a non-profit making social enterprise) but Richard also committed himself to the challenge to mark his 50th birthday.

Members of the public were able to join him through regular open access to the theatre venue, enabling them to play a part in the radio station and programming, make a donation, watch events and activities as they happened and attend a number of events for which tickets were sold separately to raise funds for the nominated causes.  Richard’s radio station colleagues also visited to try and keep him awake and offer moral support and encouragement as the hours passed whilst he was also put through his paces with work outs and interviews with a variety of groups and individuals.

Within just a few short hours of the end of his marathon broadcast, Richard had doubled the original £1,000 target set – amassing £2,000 and money continues to come in as his fantastic efforts continue to be recognised.

According to ‘The Campaign to End Loneliness with Dr. Heather McClelland 2023 – analysis of quarterly report data by the Office for National Statistics from the ‘Opinions and Lifestyle Survey’ for January to December 2022’ which used a representative sample of people aged 16 and over in Great Britain, in 2022, 49.63% of adults (25.99 million people) in the UK reported feeling lonely ‘occasionally, sometimes, often or always’.

Additionally, ONS data on loneliness in Great Britain titled ‘Campaign to end loneliness: The state of loneliness 2023’ concluded that approximately 7.1% of people in Great Britain (3.83 million people) experience chronic loneliness, meaning they feel lonely ‘often or always’.

Speaking on social media after spending a few hours in bed, Richard said: “What a few days the Erewash Sound Radiothon was!  Together, we did something really special.  As well as raising mover £2,000 – of which I thank everyone who donated – together, we created opportunities for people who are struggling to connect with others.  We met some amazing people, played some great music and got very little sleep.  I want to thank everyone who joined me on the journey, for those that did the overnight shift with me, everyone at Erewash Sound, all of our guests who do amazing things to help build community and belonging, and everyone who listened and gave money – you made the whole event brilliant!"

Richard was particularly grateful to radio station engineer Dave Dallard for “his tech genius”, adding, “..it wouldn’t have happened without you” before signing off saying “Until next year…”

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