Back To Work 2022 (Brighton)

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The Gaydio Academy delivered an employability project called 'Back To Work 2022' thanks to funding from LLC (London Learning Consortium) for jobless people from the Coast to Capital region. The project helped 35 people find secure employment and/or training, and included radio and work skills training, peer support, mentoring, one-to-one support, work experience and volunteering opportunities.

Each round of training involved five fun radio and work skills training sessions at Brighton's i360 and Friday Media Group's training room, with sessions delivered intensively over a single week per round.

Each course contained different types of media training to help participants gain the most from the sessions.

How The Weeks Went

  1. Introduction to radio and how to become a radio presenter

  2. Show content

  3. CV skills workshop, job search skills & becoming a news presenter

  4. Looking at other roles in radio & music

  5. Interview techniques, and testing these by interviewing LGBTQ+ organisations across the UK that went out on air

  6. A one-to-one session exploring the next stage of progression tailored to learners' specific needs

  7. Director session Q&A with Gaydio Brighton Director Ian Wallace

  8. Producing features that will be included in the Brighton Weekday Evening Show

  9. The chance to create a radio show that will be your next demo. Becoming presenters, producers, researchers etc

A Podcast of Interviews Conducted by Course Participants

One round of participants learned interview techniques and put these to the test by interviewing LGBTQ+ organisations across the UK about mental health and loneliness in the run-up to Christmas. Below is the full-length podcast from these interviews:


MindOut is a project run by and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer people. Their staff, volunteers and Board of Trustees are all LGBTQ. They believe that sharing this identity is essential to their work.

Interviewed by: Stefan - Academy Participant

Interviewing: Jason (Service Manager) & Erica (Chief Operating Officer)


The Proud Trust

The Proud Trust is an LGBT+ organisation that supports LGBT+ young people through youth groups, peer support, mentoring programs and the Proud Connections chat service.

Interviewed by: Claire, Busayo & Luis - Academy Participants

Interviewing: Lisa (Chief Executive Office)



Just Like Us

Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people's charity, works with schools and young people across the UK to ensure LGBT+ young people can thrive.

Interviewed by: Dennis, Hughie & Jason - Academy Participants

Interviewing: Dominic (Chief Executive)


Friends of Dorothy - Out Together

Friends of Dorothy is a charity that champions social inclusion for older LGBTQ+ people by hosting regular activities and events. They are a welcoming and inclusive group that supports their “friends” to keep well, have fun and stay connected.

Interviewed by: Dominic, Janina & Steve

Interviewing: Matthew (Ambassador)


News Demos

During one session, participants took part in creating a news report from scratch and recording this live. Taking current news stories, they constructed a journalist layout to present this on-air. In groups they recorded and edited this down to the final feature. Please see below one example created and voiced by Harry & Gina:



In each weekly session, participants learned how to become radio presenters and the format used by presenters to make a 2-3 minute demo to take away with them. Each demo contained an opener, sense of the day/content link, presenter read or news read. Please see below the demo created by Georgina:




  • Lee is a natural presenter and teacher, he explains Radio in an easy-to-understand way, I especially liked his enthusiasm and non-judgemental approach to others, the content was good, it would have been good to have some more short presentations from other departments and their role, I particularly enjoy hearing from Ian and his ethos.

    Participant from course
  • Lee is a fantastic tutor who made this experience incredibly worthwhile. Each day was well-structured, and informative and definitely gave me a new sense of direction A great introduction to radio presenting and a station's roll in the community.
    Participant from course
  • This was one of the most impactful courses I have ever done. After looking for a career change and not working for a while it was a breath of fresh air that I didn't realise I was looking for. Lee was the perfect tutor for the course with boundless enthusiasm and knowledge. I learnt so much from him and took away some great professionally sounding recorded clips and so much enthusiasm and a renewed belief in my abilities. I am very much looking forward to being a Gaydio volunteer going forward, getting more involved and maybe even starting my new career in radio.
    Participant from course
  • Had an incredible week at the Gaydio back-to-work course, which really expanded my knowledge of the industry. Lee was absolutely amazing, super passionate and a fabulous teacher! Loved every minute of it!
    Participant from course
  • The course was incredibly helpful in highlighting the areas of the radio industry I’d like to work in, and helping me understand how to improve my skills and abilities so that I’m ready to work within the industry. Each day was well organised and structured, with Lee being amazing at explaining everything. It was a very welcoming and engaging week and has really helped and motivated me to try and join the industry, which felt a little daunting before I found this course. Thank you Lee, all the guest speakers, and everyone behind the scenes that have helped provide this course, it has been a massive help to kickstart my career!
    Participant from course
  • This was a very enjoyable course! A really fun way to learn more about the radio business. Lee Barnes was a great tutor! I even think it might be the direction I want to go in now.
    Participant from course
  • I had no idea what to expect, which can be quite nerve-wracking, but was put at ease from the moment I arrived. Lee could not be more welcoming and supportive; a brilliant facilitator! He made everything we covered, (and we covered a lot!) accessible; happy to field questions and give further examples when needed. He opened up the World of Radio: things we'd never previously considered, giving a much greater appreciation for all that goes into making a station run smoothly and produce good content. Each session was interesting and engaging. I loved every second!
    Participant from course
  • The course Lee delivered was an amazing confidence boost for me, I spent much of this year applying for anything and everything that paid enough for me to live on and felt blocked at every turn. However, I finally got lucky and saw a vacancy, got an interview and secured the job in the last 3 days. It works out perfectly for me to have actual time to volunteer at Gaydio in the future. I can't thank Gaydio enough for the enormous boost to my self-esteem.
    Participant from course
  • Lee was a wonderfully inspiring teacher and delivered a huge amount of content quickly and effectively in a supportive and inclusive fashion. Would wholeheartedly recommend the course to anyone even vaguely thinking of working in radio!
    Participant from course
  • Our tutor Lee was a natural in making everyone feel inspired, empowered & confident. He has a good vibe!! Everyday of the course was a joy and I look forward to future courses with Lee.
    Participant from course

With thanks to the Friday Media Group & Brighton's i360 for hosting us on our 'Back to Work' courses this year.

Find out more about the London Learning Consortium here