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Community rallies to get Reel Rebels Radio Station back on air after thieves make off with £1,000 of equipment

PUBLISHED: 16:03 20 June 2018

The Lounge Akademics in the Reel Rebels Radio studio. Picture: Reel Rebels Radio

The Lounge Akademics in the Reel Rebels Radio studio. Picture: Reel Rebels Radio

Archant

Donations have poured in to rescue a Hackney community radio station that was burgled of more than £1,000 worth of equipment on Monday night.

Reel Rebels Radio Station has already fundraised more than three quarters of the amount needed to replace the equipment.

The station was founded in 2010 and has taught Hackney people from all walks of life, including those with learning disabilities or mental health difficulties, how to DJ and other technical skills.

One of two founding members Alicia Graham, 46, said: “We are very disappointed. We have been there for a few years and nothing like this has happened.

“That said, the response from the community has been quite amazing and we want to focus on that more than the break-in.”

The theft was discovered at about 11am on Tuesday by one of the station’s DJs but volunteers were already back on air with a live show that evening.

The station raised more than £1,000 in a week and received support on Twitter from Hackney mayor Phil Glanville.

He said: “This is terrible news. Appeared on @ReelRebelsRadio last year.

“It’s a great grassroots broadcaster that gives voice to Hackney’s diversity and voices that often don’t get heard.”

Alicia said: “People have been galvanised but actually the radio station has always relied on people’s donations.

“We’ve had people donating from the Highlands in Scotland and you think ‘how could that happen?’ – but it just shows how far the links and ties from this station are reaching.”

She added the costs to the station would probably be higher than the fundraising total, since they are aiming to improve security to protect them from future burglaries.

A fundraiser will be held tomorrow (Fri) at the Royal Sovereign pub, featuring DJs and a raffle, with art from local artists as prizes.

Alicia is encouraging anyone who wishes to donate a prize to get in touch.

She added: “The way it has been responded to by the community shows there is more good than there is bad.”

A CD deck and a mixer were among the items taken.

Reel Rebels is accepting donations at gofundme.com/community-radio-burgled

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