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Bury teaching assistant to headline BBC local radio festive programme


A teaching assistant from Bury will be among the local heroes featured during BBC local radio’s festive programming this year.

Karen Roberts won the Radio Manchester Key Worker award for her dedication to Elms Bank Special Needs School in Bury, where she has worked for nearly two decades. She said: “I’m proud of what I’ve done, I’ve supported pupils – it’s not a job, but to see these young people achieve, then I know I’ve done something right.”

From Monday, December 26 through to Friday December, 30, from 9am-10pm with repeats throughout the day the BBC’s stations will be telling the stories of its Make a Difference Award winners, like Roberts, across its local radio network.

The Make a Difference initiative was launched at the beginning of the Covid pandemic in March 2020, as a virtual notice board for those able to offer help and those needing support. To date, over ten million people have got involved in Make a Difference across all 39 local BBC radio stations.

Since the start of September, the BBC has been celebrating each local hero at special awards ceremonies across the country. At each of these events eight winners are announced across eight categories – volunteering, fundraising, being a great neighbour, key worker, the together award, the environmental award, community group and caring awards – for each local radio station.

Chris Burns, controller local audio commissioning for England, said: “Over the past few years we have heard inspiring stories about remarkable people who have won our Make a Difference Awards. We want to celebrate them once again by sharing their stories across our local radio stations throughout the wonderful festive period. Make A Difference is all about changing lives for the better and we hope local BBC radio is doing that.”

For full details of the BBC’s Christmas content on your local station, listen in on Wednesday, December 1 from 6am. Events already announced include festive carols during Our Communities Sing, presented by BBC Radio Leeds presenter Sanchez Payne on Friday, December 23 from 10-11pm and The Christmas Day service, led by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell and broadcasting across all 39 Local BBC Radio stations at 7am. It will feature readings and prayers from people around England, and we will also hear about the Warm Churches Schemes.



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