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27 November 2014

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You are in: Berkshire > Local radio > Features > Louise celebrates her first birthday

Louise and Kemi with guests

Louise and Kemi with Diverzion guests

Louise celebrates her first birthday

BBC Radio Berkshire's Louise Chandler commemorates a year on air with news and discussion from Berkshire's Caribbean communities, every Sunday night from 9pm.

It's been a jam packed year - the 52nd show, which marked our first birthday, had the pleasure of Gary and Michelle from Diverzion as guests to tell you more about their organisation that keeps youngsters away from the dangers of drink, drugs and bullying.

Louise Chandler and Simon Webbe

Louise Chandler and Simon Webbe

The group organised and staged a showcase at Reading's Town Hall where young people sung and danced, with Simon Webbe from Blue acting as a mentor. I was there to grab a picture with the pop star, who actively supports the group.

Since the show launched in August 2006 it's been wonderful to watch the Afro-Caribbean community talking and sharing ideas around Berkshire, and to representing (and contribute towards) a thriving and exciting group of people.

Mary Genis from Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra was the first guest on the show to share her pan playing talents, and throughout the year I've had the pleasure of meeting local people who are actively contributing to our community:

  • Pat Alleyne, who organises a wonderful Reading Community Carnival every year
  • Eustace Herbert from Slough West Indian People's Enterprise
  • Liz Mitchell - Singer from Boney M
  • Levi Roots, who survived the Dragons on the TV show Dragons' Den
  • Soca Queen Alison Hinds
  • The Cool Ruler himself, Gregory Isaacs
  • Norma Parris. who helps to promote the Barbados and Friends Association
  • We've had poets, preachers, writers, singers, filmmakers, sports people, actors, singers and musicians, just to name a few!

Telling stories

The show has been lucky enough to be involved with events such as the Cricket World Cup with fabulous updates from Errol and Leo Jones - real cricket enthusiasts.

We've linked up with Caribbean islands to find out about carnivals, independence days and news topics that interest you.

We've looked at the art of cooking Afro-Caribbean food and seen how dishes come together through tradition and recipes that are passed through the family. Osarika restaurant and Bola's Kitchen even gave me a chance to hone my cooking skills!

March saw 200 years since the transatlantic slave trade was abolished with an insightful radio drama about Nanny the Jamaican Maroon being used on the show to mark how poignant this period of time was. The Voice of the Slave, Equiano, gave Kemi and I the chance to tell the story of a slave called Equiano who is painted on the mural by the IDR in Reading - a piece of history for sure.

In May we celebrated 30 years of Reading Community Carnival, which inspired me to attend costume-making classes and make my own head dress and outfit. Okay, so it rained non-stop that day, but nothing dampened the sprits of the revellers, who celebrated 30 years in style.

Throughout the year Kemi has updated you with upcoming events, from parties to theatre shows, seminars and gigs, and you've been giving us your updates. Keep them coming! Kemi loves to know what's going on in your world and only you can tell us.

So what have we got coming up for you in our second year then?

There's some exciting things planned: BBC Radio Berkshire has helped to launch the new podcast UK Black, offering you the latest news and views from Afro-Caribbean communities across England in a free 20 minute programme

All you need to do is follow the link below and you’ll find instructions to subscribe to the podcast. Now you'll know what's happening not only around Berkshire but the rest of the country as well.

October is fast approaching so the show will be celebrating and acknowledging Black History Month by asking you what it means to be Afro-Caribbean. Get in touch with your thoughts:

Finally, let me take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the show, been a guest or supported us. Here's to another successful and thriving year.

last updated: 15/09/07

You are in: Berkshire > Local radio > Features > Louise celebrates her first birthday

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