5 September 2012

The offical presentation of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service' was made by the Vice Lord-lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Michael Oglesby CBE, DL at Bolton Town Hall on September 5th.

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Award


3 JUNE 2012

It was announced in the London Gazette that DBBC is to receive The Queen's Award For Voluntary Service, which has been presented every year since the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.

This year a total of 107 Awards were made throughout the UK and just seven of those came to the north west of England. DBBC was the only voluntary group in Bolton to receive the Award.

Our founder, Dorothy, along with three of of our longest serving volunteers, represented DBBC at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party in May.




A Very Big Thank You

"I am obviously delighted. This recognition of our work will help to put DBBC firmly on the map.

The award really belongs to our superb team of volunteers, staff and trainees, who I value so much.

I also want to thank our Trustees who have supported the DBBC team and who nominated me.

I have always tried to make everyone who walks through our door feel special. They all are. If you feel valued by others, then your aspirations are unlimited.

In my youth I was a swimmer and a Bolton champion. I represented Bolton at many galas throughout the Country and I was - and still am - very proud of my home town.

I spent 25 years as a teacher at Smithills School, for much of that time working in pastoral care. I learned that although some students may not be academically motivated they still can become very successful, given the right environment.

When I retired from teaching I joined a radio group in Bolton that made short term radio broadcasts every year in the hope of gaining a full-time licence. It was there that I was asked by a former Smithills School pupil, Derek Knowles, if I would help him set up a new group called Variety Gold fm. We were also joined by two other stalwarts, Andy Haslam and the late Roy Worthington.

We managed to get premises in Ashburner Street Market where Nick Fisher, the Market Manager was very supportive of our efforts and Bolton at Home helped build the studios.

In late 1997, the Radio Authority announced that a local commercial licence would be offered to Bolton. We enlisted Cllr Frank White to chair the group and set about recruiting a management board. Meanwhile, our enthusiastic volunteers trained hard and started to broadcast to the Market every Saturday. This became known as Bolton Market Radio.

Unfortunately, the licence was awarded to another bidder and that could have been the end of the road. However, through this experience I had gained a deep appreciation of the special value of radio training and how it could hugely improve people's confidence. I decided that I would set up the charity DBBC with the objective of providing students with the skills and opportunities they needed to improve their lives and prospects.

Trish Bartlett, a Bolton development officer, helped us get our first grant and Mary Rudkin, of Bolton College, helped to put together our first accredited course.

We had a mixture of students: young people from Mount St Joseph School who were withdrawn and lacking in confidence and also adults who came from a Bolton training agency, Rathbone CI.

Two people came to us from Rathbones who have played an invaluable role in the success and growth of DBBC. Martin Ellison had been in a music band for a while but had then found his career drifting. He decided to take a course with us and we discovered that he had a great gift for technical matters. Anne Wilson was an ex-teacher who was re-training with Rathbones.

They both gained NVQ’s in assessing work (with another training agency, Panacea) and went on to work as volunteers with us, before becoming paid staff. They are still working with us as invaluable members of our team.

During all this time, we kept up with our Saturday ‘Bolton Market Radio,’ when presenters we had trained broadcast to the market shoppers. Jamie Blatchley came every Saturday until he went on to University to study media and gained a degree. He is now our established trainer.

Another Saturday regular was Carl Hartley, now an established commercial presenter and the first programme manager of the Community Radio station in Bolton, who still comes back to help us.

DBBC had to have a management committee of trustees and David Jones, chairman of the Jubilee Centre for disabled people in Bolton, became our vice-chair, now Chair, taking over from Cllr Clifford Morris. David’s colleague Lesley Smith, who was disability personnel officer with Bolton Housing Department also joined our trustees. Things progressed so well that in 2002, we were awarded 2 National Training Awards at the Guild Hall in London and according to Dr Brian Iddon MP, our use of broadcasting training for students with specific needs, had been talked about in London. Since these early days, radio training has become well established.

In 2006, the Radio Authority, now OFCOM announced that a community radio licence was due to be granted in this area and, once again, I enlisted the help of Cllr Frank White. We set about trying to get a licence. This time, we were successful and Bolton fm is now firmly established in the town.

I resigned as a board member some months ago to concentrate on DBBC and my role as Chair of Bolton Arts Forum.

In reply to my resignation from Bolton fm, the Chair described me as ‘the Mother of Community Radio in Bolton'! While this is a great compliment, there are others who worked so hard for that cause in the 1990s, that I am happier to share the honours with them.

The list of all the staff, students, trainees, volunteers and supporters who I would like to thank for their contribution to DBBC is endless - you know who you are! This is for you."


Dorothy Martland

January 2012


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DBBC is a
Registered Charity
No. 1098491

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service


"The award really belongs to our superb team of volunteers, staff and trainees, who I value so much."