Academy FM Thanet team presented with King’s Award for Voluntary Services

King's Award for the Academy FM Thanet team Photo James Pringle

By Kane Birch

Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Colgrain, has presented the Academy FM Thanet team with the King’s Award for  voluntary services.

The award, which King Charles signed the citation for on November 14, 2023, is the highest a voluntary organisation can receive and is equivalent to an MBE.

Staff, volunteers and their families came together for the celebration last night (April 3rd) held at the Royal Harbour Academy Upper Site in Ramsgate, where the radio station is based.

During her speech, Lady Colgrain shared her pride and happiness for the Academy Thanet team and noted their dedication to listeners, saying: “Your outreach to the listeners is truly exceptional and the close relationships you bring to many vulnerable and disadvantaged people is to be commended.”

Photo Kane Birch

She also commended the training program Academy FM offers and the skills they teach that students will take with them throughout their lives.

Lady Colgrain highlighted the importance of the award as a symbol of recognition for the hard work of all at Academy FM Thanet and the time and effort they contribute to the community.

She said: “You are the backbone of the community and are an utter inspiration. Academy FM receives the King’s Award for voluntary services for providing support to the community of Thanet.”

After her speech, Lady Colgrain said it was an honour to present the award on His Majesty’s behalf before handing it to Vic Todd, chairman of the trustees of the radio station.

Vic gave his thanks for the award and his thanks to the radio station team for their hard work.

Photo Kane Birch

The chairman also expressed his pride in the station’s 4pm-7pm show on Wednesdays and Fridays, hosted by Sixth Form students Harvey Bone and Taylor Crorken (pictured above).

Station manage Debbie Day said: ” What a privilege it was to welcome the Lord-Lieutenant Lady Colgrain yesterday evening. The Lord-Lieutenant presented us with our crystal and certificate, what an honour it was to receive this.

“We all present our shows from our hearts, it’s our passion, but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes and it was so wonderful to have this recognised by receiving this prestigious award.”

Debbie, Vic and Lady Colgrain Photo James Pringle

Academy FM Thanet held its first broadcast on April 5, 2010. The 38 volunteers and staff are preparing to celebrate the station’s 14th year anniversary tomorrow (April 5).

The community radio station is a non-profit  company which relies on donations from the local business community as well as grants from charitable trusts and paid advertising.

The team has achieved many awards including three titles at the UK Community Radio Awards in Newcastle last year. Patrick Foster took a silver award and Neil Kefford took a bronze award in the male presenter category, alongside Paul James taking silver in the Sage category for volunteers over 60.

Photo Kane Birch

In the 2022 Community Radio Awards, the team achieved two titles with Neil Kefford claiming silver for the male presenter award and Paul James winning silver for entertainment show of the year.

Tune into Academy at 107.8 FM or go to

Kane Birch, from Ramsgate, is a multimedia journalism student in the final year of his degree at Canterbury Christ Church University.


  1. Congratulations to the whole team at Academy FM. Yet again something the whole area should be proud of.
    Next time you are asked “where do you live” respond “I live in the area where Academy FM broadcast from”

  2. Such fantastic news for what is such a great community radio station. Thank you to all the volunteers for all the hard work they do in providing Thanet with such an excellent station.
    Terry Cleaver, Volunteer Presenter
    DCR 104.9FM (Dover Community Radio)

  3. Congratulations! So well deserved. Personally you have supported my business with your business of the week initiative and me and the kids also enjoy listening to you all when driving around Thanet for school runs and more. Thank you!

  4. Cliftonville Farmers’ Market, send their congratulations to ACADEMY FM.
    They are true supporters to the community and we thank them for mentioning our market each month.

Comments are closed.