VOLUNTEERS and community champions have taken over the radio as part of an annual broadcast.

Radio station Johnson Fold FM returned to the airwaves on Wednesday for its fifth annual event.

The station, run by volunteers and funded by Bolton at Home, is broadcasting from 8am to 10pm until tomorrow.

About 40 people have been involved in six months of preparation and training leading up to the broadcast.

The daily radio shows offer a mix of music, local news, a radio play, live interviews, information and advice from the Bolton estate. There are also performances from the finals of Johnson Fold’s Got Talent.

Presenters include local residents, officers from Bolton at Home, people from the Octagon Theatre and students from Brownlow Fold College.

One of the presenters is Pete Hopkinson, aged 32, from Johnson Fold, who is involved in the breakfast show.

He said: “This is my third year of doing it. It helps build confidence and relationships with new people. It’s one of those projects that everyone jumps on.” Making her debut as a presenter on the station is Emily Heron, aged 25, also from Johnson Fold.

Miss Heron said: “I just came down to see what it was all about and I was really impressed by how the people come together. I was nervous at first, but I think I’ve done okay.”

Also presenting on the station for the first time is Gavin Walker, a vocalist and mandolin player in The Cider’ouse Entourage, an acoustic group which performs all over Bolton.

Mr Walker, aged 57, of Deane, said: “The projects get us all together and we’ve all got to know one another through doing it.

“It’s great to see people build confidence and help each other.”

An information event was held at The Hope Centre in conjunction with the broadcast on Thursday.

Stallholders, including Food Access Bolton, health trainers, Bolton College and Bolton at Home offered advice, prize draws and special giveaways.

Anne Burns, Bolton at Home’s West neighbourhood manager, said: “Johnson Fold FM is a real celebration of the local community.

“We’re excited that it’s back on the air again and it’s great how local residents have got involved in making their own broadcast.

“We want the community to show their support by tuning in and we hope they enjoyed our supporting event, which provided useful information and other benefits.”

Johnson Fold FM was first launched in 2008 and has run for successive years since 2010.

It is being broadcast online at johnsonfold.co.uk and on 87.7FM.