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Danny Lawrence - Gateway 97.8

Community radio ace recognised in Queen's New Year's Honours!

Basildon community radio volunteer Danny Lawrence has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his commendable services to the community he serves.

Councillor Danny, who is the Deputy Mayor for Basildon, has worked in community radio for over ten years, the majority of which he has spent at the award winning local station for Basildon and East Thurrock, Gateway 97.8 FM.

Danny’s New Year’s honour follows on from a successful year in 2013, where he was awarded a Jack Petchey Leader Award for his dedication to helping young people begin their own radio careers. He is dedicated to giving broadcasting opportunities to young people, and mentoring them to develop their skills and experience.

On receiving his latest award, Danny said, “This is a great honour for me and community radio as a medium. I’ve seen people gain full time employment following voluntary stints in community radio and youngsters who have been excluded from school find a sense of purpose and focus. In one such case a young person who had been excluded from school got to meet the Prime Minister through his work on community radio.

It’s amazing what can be achieved through community radio and I’m delighted I am to receive this medal for my contribution.”

Danny, who’s radio career began at Harold Wood Hospital Radio, continues to play a full role at Gateway 97.8 as a broadcaster, Director and mentor of young people. He also won the High Sheriffs Award in 2012-13 for his contributions to enhancing community spirit.

Councillor Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, added: “Cllr Lawrence has made a valuable contribution to community radio which is now being recognised - This is a very proud moment and I would like to congratulate Danny on this achievement.”

Photo by Bob LeRoi

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“It's amazing what can be achieved through community radio!”