The Blaenau Gwent radio station that’s fighting for local news

In the valleys of south Wales is a radio station at the very heart of the community.

BGfm, also known as Blaenau Gwent for music, is a volunteer based group who fight to deliver local news stories to residents across the borough on a daily basis.

With over 40 volunteers working hundreds of hours every month since it started in 2017, they are steadily becoming one of the most popular channels in the area.

Though one man goes above and beyond with the work he does to keep the station running.

Steve Bower, 64, is the head of the group and takes on a number of roles within the station, that range from daily radio host, to site caretaker, and sustainability manager.

Steve Bowers has led the group since 2017

And while the former HGV mechanic from Nantyglo says it can be difficult to juggle the heavy workload he currently takes on, he is more than happy to provide a service he considers essential to the people who live here.

He said: “I’ve been involved with the radio business for over 12 years now and it’s honestly something I love to do for the community.

“I think it’s very important to have these sorts of community stations, not just in this area but all areas, so that they are able to stay in touch with locals and promote the general needs of the people.

“For example a large commercial station won’t tell you about the little fate that’s going to raise money for a local building, but local radio stations will do that and it means a lot to those nearby.

“It can be a lot of work as we have to put together shows, seek out important stories nearby, and balance that with a business aspect as well, but honestly it’s all worth it to us.

“As locals we know how much we connect with the people around us and the response we get is always great, with people constantly telling us how much they appreciate what we do.”

Steve who currently hosts a daily breakfast show as well as a popular seventies music show on a Friday is also eager to secure the outlets future by bringing in a number of college and university students who he hopes will carry on working with the station when he’s gone.

He added: “We do want to get more youngsters involved with BGfm through colleges and universities, so that we can pass the skills on from the individuals who work here now to those who are just starting out.

“That’s the radio’s future, and like any group if you haven’t got the youngsters coming through behind, then when us old ones go then all of the skills will go with us.

“That’s not what we want and at the end of the day we’re all fighting hard for local news at BGfm, and would encourage anyone who’s interested to drop by and see how they could help out.”