Community radio in Heckington - flourishing new radio station to go on the road

A community radio station which was born to overcome the isolation of villagers in the first coronavirus lockdown has grown to the extent that it is going ‘on the road’.

The HLR team, from left - Sean Fullerton, Julie Hudson, Patricia Mellett-Brown, Kate Hewson, Simon Williams, Dave Brackley, Andy Mellett Brown, Diane Davies, Tim Doherty, Martin Davies and Dan Kirouac. EMN-210618-210809001

Heckington Living Community Radio is an internet radio station founded and managed by Andy and Patricia Mellett Brown, affiliated to the village magazine, Heckington Living.

Andy and Patricia established the station in March 2020 in response to the pandemic to keep residents, families and friends connected under lockdown, mitigating some of the effects of social isolation and loneliness.

To begin with there were just two presenters and live programmes were twice a week. Today there are live shows every day (and sometimes two or more) and a team of 11 live presenters.

The HLR Outside Broadcast Studio, from left - Martin Davies, Mia, Diane Davies. EMN-210618-210759001

With a full schedule of music, drama, voice and live programmes, HLR continues to expand, recently topping 6,000 listener hours a month, with people tuning in from all over the country and, indeed, the world.

Not content to sit on their laurels, the team at HLR has recently invested in an outside broadcast facility, enabling the station to stream live shows from remote venues (indoors and outside). All the venue needs to provide is power and a wired internet connection.

The first venue to host HLR was The Pavilion at Heckington Playing Fields where, on Saturday May 29, HLR streamed live from 10am-6pm to listeners all over the world and a very relaxed outdoor audience, enjoying the sunshine, the pavilion’s range of food and beverages, and, of course, music courtesy of HLR and the station’s team of presenters.

Station founder, Andy Mellett-Brown, said: “The response to HLR from the community in and connected to Heckington has been incredible. The stories told by listeners highlight what a difference the station has made to people during the coronavirus pandemic. As the restrictions are gradually lifted, HLR is developing its offer through live appearances around the village and potentially elsewhere. HLR just keeps on growing and being part of the fantastic team behind HLR is a real joy.”

There are also documentaries and church services, all made in or around Heckington by local people. There is also a ‘Live Lounge’ at www.heckingtonliving/live-shows/ where listeners come together, especially during live shows, to chat with the presenters and each other.

The HLR ‘Live Loungers’ have made connections well beyond HLR. The Live Loungers have even made their own single, which they regularly play on the station.

HLR has added two international presenters in the form of Dan Kirouac and Sean Fullerton, who broadcast live on the station all the way from Massachusetts in the USA. Both are talented musicians and presenters and have become valued friends and members of the wider HLR community, making it local yet international.

The team say that HLR exemplifies the community, caring spirit that exists in Heckington. 

The station is run entirely by volunteers, on a not-for-profit basis, they are defiantly not a commercial radio station and you will not hear any adverts, existing purely to keep people connected.

As we come out of lockdown, HLR aims to continue entertaining and supporting the community, making connections and holding out Heckington’s hand of friendship to everyone who wants to listen.

HLR is fully licensed and runs on the Live365 platform - – one of the biggest internet radio providers in the world.Listeners can tune in at www.heckingtonliving.co.uk or on a number of other internet platforms including: Radio Garden, Online Radio Box, MyTuner, Streema, Listen Online Radio, UK Radio, Live Radio and OnLine Radio.