My year at Sunnybank

Blog by Jon Andrews, Sunny Sessions Presenter and Producer

As I mark my first year at Sunnybank, it’s been good to look back at my journey so far.

I joined The Sunnybank Trust in October 2020 and found it was a perfect way to bring together my experience of working with people with learning disabilities and my long-term work in community radio. 

I love my job and it’s been a very interesting year, a roller-coaster ride of fun, laughter and also a sense of  pride in what we have achieved with our Sunny Sessions radio show.

The Sunny Sessions show has grown with very encouraging listening figures. I’ve had lots of support from my Sunnybank colleagues and other local organisations who have been involved in the show. 

It has been a lifeline for our members who have used it as a way to stay connected during lockdown and really enjoyed contributing and getting involved. There are so many benefits for people with learning disabilities being involved with radio and the work on the Sunny Sessions really showcases this. 

Some personal highlights over the last year are the Sunny Sessions takeover shows where members were given the opportunity to present a show with support from me. I am proud to have been able to give a voice to people with learning disabilities and support them to conduct interviews with local organisations, helping them to feel part of their local area.  

We also had a brilliant Christmas special with Sunnybank member Martin and I chatting to 80’s legends Suzi Quattro and Limahl.

It’s very powerful to take a topic and hear our members and listeners share their thoughts on it. Some stories are emotional and some make us smile, but all are so important to include in the show.

It is, as I call it, the Happiest Hour On The Radio and it makes me happy to be here to produce the show and celebrate what can be achieved  through the power of the wireless.

Thank you to everybody who has listened to or got involved in the Sunny Sessions over the last year, you are all amazing!

You can listen to Sunny Sessions every Monday and Thursday at 11am on www.surreyhillsradio.co.uk

We are pleased to launch Sunny Sessions Extra on the first Monday of every month at 9pm, an extra helping of our greatest stories and music.