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We realised some time ago that a dedicated podcast would be a good way to offer greater insight into our work helping people in need – not just involving housing but also addressing health, employment or support needs.

Thanks to an approach at the end of last year from Nottingham Trent University’s award-winning Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism we have finally got the ball rolling with the creation of three podcast episodes by their talented and enthusiastic first year students.

Following an initial briefing with our Digital Communications and Fundraising Officer Beth Wilshaw and the provision of contact details for interviewees, the students achieved an impressive amount in only four weeks of planning, interviewing and editing. The result is three podcast episodes each with their own style, tone and feel and provide a valuable insight into several aspects of our work.

The first episode, published just before Christmas, gave an insight into life at our accommodation service for teenage parents as they prepared for Christmas. It also included enthusiastic voices from Brookside Primary School in East Leake where a mix of students and staff shared their experiences of being fundraisers for Framework.

We have now published the second episode in which the student journalists go behind the scenes at Nottingham-based DHP Family , one of the UK’s leading companies in the entertainment sector, to hear about plans for their annual Beat the Streets music festival. Taking place across Nottingham on 29 January, Beat the Streets raises funds that support Framework in providing housing and support for rough sleepers – no less than £320,000 since 2018!

You can enjoy both the first and second episodes here.

The third and final episode, to be released in February, will focus on winter on the streets and the struggle to stay warm.

As Senior Lecturer and project lead Jannah Robinson said:

“It was very worthwhile to be able to give students this real life experience. Framework set the criteria for each of the episodes and provided contact ideas for students to arrange their own interview guests, times and locations.

“Making contacts is one of the top concerns for students, year after year, so to give them real life experience of this in their first year is so important and will hopefully give them the confidence they need to develop their very own contacts book (a journalist’s lifeline).

“The project was a pilot, created to satisfy the university’s desire for work-like experience and employer-driven collaboration. It’s had challenges, but nothing you wouldn’t expect if you were working as an audio journalist in the industry.

“The experience that students have gained working on the project is invaluable and something we hope they will reflect on, and refer back to, for many years.”

Reflecting on the experience at the time, one student said: “It’s a really great opportunity to develop my skills. It’s been quite challenging but also really beneficial for all of us – teaching us more about how to communicate effectively with each other to make sure we produce something of a high standard.”

Another participant commented: “It’s been a very interesting and fun experience to work with a real company and do real professional work. Because it [Framework] is a community-based charitable company it’s nice to do something that helps other people and trains you as well.”

This has been a very worthwhile and mutually beneficial partnership – and one we hope may continue. Many thanks are due to the impressive journalism students at Nottingham Trent University for their hard work and particularly to Jannah Robinson for bringing the idea to us. The students have provided proof of concept: all we need to do now is build on their great work!