By Byron Brain

A long time ago in a valley far far away… well not that far actually!

Back in March, my family and I watched the news and the fact our country was going into lockdown due the rising cases of Covid-19. A lot of emotions were going through our heads of what’s going to happen, ‘how will we all cope?’ Most importantly for my wife and I, how will our children cope?

We love to socialise, whether it’s via technology or meeting up in person. We have two boys who are 17 and 10, and a girl who’s just turned 16, so you can imagine for the two teenagers meeting up with their friends is a big part of their livelihoods. Our 10 year old son loves playing with his friends at school but of course, that all came to a halt all of a sudden.

The children found it really difficult especially our youngest Finley who has ADHD and is also on the ASD spectrum, so staying in the house for a long period of time was challenging, and also stressful. Thanks to Finley’s school, they kept him busy with lots of tasks, kept up communication too to make sure he was ok. But above all, I feel one of the best things that kept him going was the FaceTime conversations with his grandparents who he couldn’t visit, and it not just lifted his spirit, it lifted theirs as well knowing everything is ok.

As well as being a volunteer for Radio Glamorgan, I also work for the NHS and have done so continually bar a few weeks throughout the last six months, working for procurement services (supplying materials, such as food, medical supplies and also PPE for all the hospitals around South and West Wales) which also includes supplying sanitiser, masks, visors and gloves ensuring everyone was safe and protected from this virus.

I found the first few weeks of lockdown a real challenge, but with the help from my family, and volunteers of Radio Glamorgan who kept in touch with me every day, I was getting better.

During the lockdown period, we weren’t permitted to go into Radio Glamorgan to present shows for the patients of UHW, and for us all, this was really upsetting because we love doing what we do for you.

Byron in the RG Studio

Thanks to our Chairman and the Trustee board that take care of RG and it’s operations, they encouraged volunteers to produce shows from the comfort of their own homes. Thanks to a kind grant, many of the volunteers had the pleasure of having new microphones to record shows and were given detailed tutorials on email, Zoom meetings and little videos. It was also an opportunity to share their experiences between volunteers.

I found it great fun as I got the pleasure to include my family in the show whether it was their ideas/suggestions or them actually taking part sharing their stories/opinions. I really found it strange at first but it also brought back memories of my ambition to be a radio presenter when I was a kid talking through a tape recorder and my dad listening in.

I feel with these ‘shows from home’ and with the help of social media it’s made our station go from strength to strength and shows to you/our listeners how much we love doing what we do from our dedication and devotion to Radio Glamorgan.

It seemed like other stations followed suit and started doing the same thing as us, which made the ‘power of radio’ even stronger and the feedback has been incredible with messages of thanks and appreciation. The one which I’m going to share has always and will continue to make me smile.

“Hiya, what a brilliant show, I listened on my Alexa, and the music you played had been awesome. My mum and partner have also complimented of the various music played. Well done to you and a massive achievement especially the way things have been. Thank you!”

Robert Bowen – NHS staff member

You can usually hear Byron on the Sunday Social, every Sunday 2-4pm on Radio Glamorgan

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