Ysbyty Ystrad FM

Impact: Social impacts, Quality of life impacts

Description of impact

The project (Case Study)

YYFM is an innovative, non-linear source of music and speech, that allows patients to download and access content, at the point of demand, completely free, via itsyyfm.com. The project evolved, as the direct result of a community engagement partnership between USW and ABUHB (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board) and was strategically developed by USW students undertaking Professional Practice modules. One student, in particular, a recent BA Journalism graduate, now working as a broadcast journalist, at the prestigious Global Radio newsroom, in Cardiff, took a leading role, in site design and content management. Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr (Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly) is a modern and well-appointed hospital and it is good that patients benefit from private rooms and modern facilities but the privacy of the rooms means that patients rarely get to socialise with others. YYFM was developed as a means of breaking down any feelings of social isolation, enabling organic, free flowing, shared communication

How did your research contribute?

My research territory relates to the establishment of sustainable models for the Welsh community radio stations to deliver ‘social gain’ as as this is a fundamental characteristic of a community radio service. This knowledge of social gain and an interest in the notion of community, to a large extent drive my passion for outward-facing, collaborative activities, of benefit to others. My firm belief is that a community radio station has to overtly be, of social benefit to its local community, as an enabler of democratic participation, enabling progression in local communities that wouldn’t otherwise ensue.

I have always been inspired by a particular definition of a radio interview, as a focused conversation (McLeish, 1978) and fascinated by the varying ‘conversations’ between community radio stations and their local audiences. That, allied to my desire to enable social gain and appreciation of community media’s role, in the generation of an alternative voice and community engendered, ground-up, routes of progression have led to me now leading the Community of Engagement, for the USW. The interest in ground-up, community orientated endeavour influences my pedagogical philosophy, leading me to encourage students to consider including community journalism within their professional practice portfolios.

My second and third year BA Journalism and BA Media, Culture and Journalism students need to find placement partners for their professional practice portfolios. Having been approached by a community partner, to create a hub for the sharing of speech and music content, on a non-linear, at point of demand basis, I saw this as an opportunity to offer the students the chance to diversity and add breadth to their industry knowledge by immersing themselves in the domain of community journalism

The YYFM project is an ever-evolving amalgamation with partner agencies that include local (English and Welsh-medium) schools, medical specialists, published authors, sports societies, guide and scout groups and more. Another pleasing aspect, is that it enables both academic/community engagement and encourages cross-pollination across such a range of student cohorts. The enablement of inter-generational articulations is also welcome, allowing for the generation of creative and imaginative story-telling. Fortnightly, collaborative meetings with students, hospital staff and community organisations, evoke ever-widening awareness, participation and fresh partnerships with a wide range of local partner agencies, including local schools, youth groups and a myriad of community-based organisations.

Crucially, the activity meets the needs of the 2030 curriculum, engendering overt, civic engagement for USW, of an inclusive, progressive, ground-up orientation.

Who is affected?

Professional practice students at USW (professional industry portfolios), teaching staff (practice as research) the patients and staff of Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr (therapeutic content) and the local volunteers, at the many community organisations and groups/ (creative expression).
Impact date1 Sep 20193 Jan 2022
Category of impactSocial impacts, Quality of life impacts
Impact levelIn progress