http://istream.transplanuk.com/bgws128.mp3.m3u (CLICK TO LISTEN)
The idea of Radio BGWS sparked off when the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), refused ex- servicemen and their families the opportunity to participate in their phone-ins and other radio programmes on the grounds that the BFBS license restricted its service to serving personnel and their families only. BFBS had been a way of life to the dispersed ex-Gurkha community and a means of keeping in touch with one another. There was a lot of disappointment amongst the retired Gurkha community when they could no longer participate in the radio programmes. This resulted in a meeting being called in 2005 to address the problem, attended by around 500 representatives from the community. This meeting confirmed a need for a community radio station which would not only serve the ex-Gurkha community but include the wider Nepali community as well. Based in Farnborough, it could still reach out to one and all through the internet. The project for setting up this Radio Station was taken on by Maj(Retd) Sonam Tshering Sherpa.
Following which a nucleus of 9 ladies and a teenager volunteered; led, trained and nurtured by Major(Retd) Sonam Tshering Sherpa. Meanwhile a small studio with the latest automation system was put in place with the intention of applying for a community radio license. In February 2007, BGWS ran a trial broadcast for a month on the FM band, this proved to be immensely successful. After a prolonged period the Community Radio license was finally awarded to BGWS in September 2009, however, due to financial constraints and various technical reasons the station could not be launched as planned on time. And finally on 30 September 2011 the station went on air running a daily six hour programme from 1200 hours to 1800 hours, then from 30 September 2014 the radio runs a 24 hour programme!
Radio BGWS provides a Community Radio service for the rapidly growing community of ex-Gurkhas, their families including all Nepali people not only in the UK but with listeners from overseas as well, through the internet. As an AM band currently it can be clearly heard within the Rushmoor Borough area extending to some parts of Surrey. The service is broadcast mostly in Nepali and provides information, advice and entertainment to the Nepali community, helping them to integrate into the local community while keeping in touch with Nepal and one another in the UK and internationally. Radio BGWS is run by volunteers and also provides an on-going training scheme to ensure and support anyone interested in adding to the volunteer workforce or producing and presenting their own suitable programme.
Radio BGWS has successfully ensured the following community needs:
• Information and help in integrating with the local community, providing information about housing, health, employment, law, education and training etc. This was achieved by inviting local officials for interviews.
• To foster a sense of one community amongst the ex Gurkhas and the wider Nepali community.
• To support the ladies within the community with information according to their needs and the Nepali youth with their endeavours.
• To help the community keep in touch with Nepal, maintain its culture and tradition and remain a focal point of communication for the Nepali community.
. Radio BGWS also extends its service by live broadcasts from local festivals and events to enable the rest with the knowledge of what is going on and where.
MEDIA TEAM: We have a dedicated team of ladies who volunteer in looking after different aspects of the radio production. Without this volunteer force it will not be possible to run the station. .
Production Team: The volunteers drawn up from the wives of our members are Mrs Jamuna Pun, Mrs Goma Rana, Mrs Muna Rana, Mrs Sushila Gurung, Mrs Hema Rana, Mrs Sita Thapa, Mrs Mina Gurung and Mrs Asha Pun including Mrs Nilima Rai who has now left us due to personal circumstances. The Media Director Major (retd) Sonam Tshering Sherpa who works full time ona volunteer basis is supported by one part time employee Mrs Pramila Rai to ensure the daily function of the station. The studio equipment is one of the latest and compares with some of the professional stations.
JAI BGWS!! Maj(Retd) Sonam T Sherpa
Media Director BGWS
119 WREN WAY
CONTACT: 01252 513317
FAX: 01252 510794
The above is a brief history regarding the establishment of radio BGWS, since then it has progressed far ahead with a part time employee, the ladies volunteers and the Media Director voluntarily ensuring a full day's programme which is proving to be very popular.