FOR many people, switching on the radio in the car while driving to work is a time to catch up on the news and current affairs.

Now in our second week of lockdown, a lot of residents have turned to switching on their radios at home instead for company but Paul Smith and Ian Roberts have gone one step further.

The pair from Lymm, decided to launch a community radio station in their spare bedroom to help entertain and inform lonely people during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Both Paul and Ian worked in commercial radio for a number of years before setting up their own production company in Latchford.

Shortly before the national lockdown was announced, they purchased the necessary equipment and built the studio in their spare room.

Paul, who used to work at Piccadilly Radio as a DJ, said: "In some ways it is a lifeline for people who are stuck in the house, maybe by themselves.

"If we can bring people a bit of light relief during this time and provide some humour then I'm happy with that.

"We've had so much reward in the last few days.

"Hearing feedback from listeners who have told us how much of difference we are making for them is amazing.

"One person said 'I felt lonely and hearing you talk about Lymm changed that'.

"We've done our job if we've made one person happy."

Since setting up last week, Lymm Radio has had more than 100 listeners at one time.

Accessed through the radio website, the station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days providing news updates, music and features about Lymm.

Paul and Ian have also recruited resident experts who record their advice remotely.

GP Rosie Shire, from Folly Lane Medical Centre provides medical tips, personal trainer Jamie Kingdon talks about ways to keep fit and healthy while on lockdown and Juliet Jones, a meditation teacher helps listeners manage their anxiety during these uncertain times.

Ian and Paul are also planning to host a remote pub quiz for listeners.

Residents can ring the free Lymm Radio number 0800 0096957 to leave messages and dedications that can be played on air, similar to Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs show.

The pair covered the initial investment to get the radio stream, PPL music licence and website up and running, but would appreciate any financial assistance when it comes to on-going streaming costs.

As more people tune in – and for longer, the streaming costs will increase.

If you are in a position to donate, visit the Lymm Radio Justgiving page