Author Archives: Paul Golder

Standon Calling – were you a winner?

Standon Calling is one of the south-east’s fastest growing festivals, both in terms of size and reputation.

This year’s event promises to be the best one yet with headline performances from Bryan Ferry, Paloma Faith and George Ezra.

Phoenix FM are official media partners of the festival this year and to celebrate this we gave away TWO PAIRS of ADULT WEEKEND TICKETS to the festival – each pair worth £318.


Our two lucky winners are:

Charles Ramsey Smith
Stella Huntley

Keep an eye out for more competitions soon on air!

Cultura Brazil – show 203

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Gilberto Gil at the Barbican Centre
‐ Joao Bosco and Hamilton de Holanda in the summer of London
‐ Brazil Diversity theater project to be launched in London
‐ Baiana System arrives in London with the best samba reggae

You can hear the show every Sunday evening at 2200 UK time.

Sending football boots to Africa can be a lifesaver

Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette

Over the last few months our lunchtime presenter Bob Simpson has led an appeal for used football boots and sports shoes to send to underprivileged children in Africa via the Boots2Africa campaign.

Millions of children across Africa, have no shoes, for school, life and playing games. Disease, infections and snakebites kill thousands and injure and incapacitate many others every year.

Boots2Africa collects, transports and distributes donated boots to Africa’s children and young adults through relief organisations.

The group’s founder, Iain Finch, came down to talk to Bob about his group’s progress and collect 120 pairs of boots that Bob has collected from all over the local area.

It’s not just for playing football – these boots will often be the best quality shoes that the children will own and they will file down any plastic studs to turn them into normal footwear.

It’s something that I’ve witnessed first hand – last year I flew out to Nakuru in Kenya with Iain and other volunteers from Colchester United’s Football In The Community charity.

As well as teaching in a school for a week, which was an amazing experience in itself, I helped distributed hundreds of boots to children from the poorest part of town, where the school was located.

If you have any boots or sports kit that you would like to donate please drop them off at the Phoenix FM studios at the Brentwood Centre and we will get them on their way.

You can find out more about the appeal at or

* Members from Billericay Choral Society will be in to talk about their summer concert on Naomi Sayers’ Feelgood Saturday show this weekend.

* There will also be live music in the studio from Cool As A Moose, John Maplin and Orient Express.

Hospice retail managers take a walk on the wild side

Three hospice retail managers took window dressing to another level and raised almost £500!

Jenny Riding, 27, Annie McMurtary, 32, and Julia Bishop, 30, were among a group of women who had their bodies painted head to toe in animal print as they stood in the window of The Retailery in Market Place, Romford on Saturday (June 23).

“I decided to join 6 other brave ladies to do this confidence boosting event for the second year running,” said Jenny, who is the Retail Manager at the charity’s Upminster retail store, and was transformed into a zebra.

“Each one of us was raising money for our chosen charities and I decided to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice as it is a charity close to my heart.

“I was a little nervous to begin with, however, the atmosphere was so upbeat and everyone was buzzing that my insecurities soon disappeared.

“There were ladies of various shapes and sizes, however, we all had a strong woman powerful feeling!”

Annie, who is the Retail Manager at the electrical store in Romford, who became a panda for the day, said,”It was a very empowering experience.

“We were all there for different reasons but we developed a bond straight away and the response from the public was great on the whole.”

Julia Bishop, who is the Manager at the Hornchurch general store, chose to be a brightly coloured snake!

Julia added, “It was something that really caught people’s attention and raise awareness of our chosen charities.

“It was a scary thing to do but it was fun and I am really glad I did it.”

And the ladies enjoyed it so much they’ve already planned to do it all over again next year!

Patients enjoy a paw-some visit

Animals can bring great comfort to people and when Izzy, an 8-year-old Labradoodle, popped in to Saint Francis Hospice for a visit on Friday (June 22), she brightened up the day of patients and staff!

Izzy with Elsie who was visiting the day services at Pemberton Place

Izzy is a Pets as Therapy dog and her proud owner Sally Birbeck, who is a retired nurse, spent time with patients in our day services at Pemberton Place and in the inpatient unit!

And Izzy and Sally enjoyed the experience so much they hope to return on regular basis!

“When people are seriously unwell or upset, it is amazing how dogs will pick up on it,” said Sally.

Izzy with Malcolm who was visiting the day services at Pemberton Place

“Izzy will come and sit next to people and lay her head on their lap.

“I think it also nice for people to just sit and stroke a dog as they may not be able to have a pet in their own home or be too unwell to look after a dog.”

Izzy with IPU patient Thomas

Cultura Brazil – show 202

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Bau do Rock in honor of Charlie Brown Jr in London
‐ Zeca Pagodinho in the London summer

You can hear the show every Sunday evening at 1900 UK time.

Fitness In Mind continue to make strides

It’s celebrations all round for Fitness In Mind today as they release their interim report detailing the fantastic progress made over the first 27 months of the revolutionary project to improve the district’s mental wellbeing through physical activity.

The Fitness In Mind Brentwood programme began in January 2016 as a three-year project targeting inactive local people with mental health problems, supported by Sport England, and in collaboration with lead partner Brentwood Leisure Trust. The programme has engaged 1379 people to date across 20 districts, offering 568 sessions of 24 sports with 10,571 peer support hours.

The results of the project are astounding, with a decrease in low mental wellbeing of 17% and a fall in physical inactivity by 27%.

Mental wellbeing among participants has seen a 30% positive change, physical wellbeing 33% and social wellbeing 22%, results never before seen in similar projects, and potentially paving the way for the use of physical activity as part of the solution for the growing issue of mental health in our communities.

Michael Barrett, Project Manager for Brentwood is delighted with the progress made.

“We have an amazing team of individuals with different backgrounds and experiences, pulling together in our shared values of helping others. Seeing the results and benefit it has for our members has been truly inspiring”

Roger Davinson, Chief Executive Offer of Brentwood Leisure Trust added “We are so proud to be one of the founding partners, supporting Fitness In Mind over the last three years, and we are looking forward to continuing the partnership into the future.”

The results are being presented at a huge event today attended by dignitaries including Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, plus representatives from Sport England, Clinical Commissioners and those who have been instrumental in making the programme a success.

Attendees will hear not just about the accomplishments of the last two years, but also plans for the future, with hopes of extending the Brentwood project beyond its conclusion in December and the potential to expand into other districts, both only possible if funding can be made available.

Guests highlight physical and mental health problems so many are facing

Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette

Our popular morning presenter Michelle Ward was joined by writer Dan Jeffries last week to talk about Acromegaly – an extremely rare pituitary disorder.

Dan’s memoir – Me, Myself and Eye – is not only very insightful but also a hilarious read. He writes about both Acromegaly and Whyburn-Mason Syndrome and what it’s like living with one of the world’s rarest medical conditions – and then finding out you have another one.

Like Dan, Michelle is also in remission from the condition and was able to add understanding to the description of the problems that sufferers have to face.

You can hear the interview again on and you can read more about Dan’s book at

Another guest who came in last week was Tracy Richardson from Amazing Me.

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young peopl and can includ depression, anxiety and conduct disorder.

However 7 out of 10 of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

We were pleased to welcome in Tracy to talk about her new initiative to tackle mental health problems in children, which is starting to gain momentum locally.

Amazing Me is designed to provide primary schools with a programme packed full of accessible and engaging materials to build good mental health and wellbeing.

Tracy spoke to our lunchtime presenter Bob Simpson and the interview can be heard again at

* Guests coming up on air in the next week include Kevin Richards and Barry Hester talking about their new production at Brentwood Theatre, and Anita McCarthy from Saint Francis Hospice chatting about their latest events and fundraising.

* There will also be live music in the studio from Dan Olsen, Koray Aykal, Past Kings and Spudd Cannon.

* Phoenix FM’s next business networking meeting – The Phoenix Family – will be taking place at Shenfield Cricket Club on Thursday 12 July from 12pm-2pm. If you are interested in coming along please give Steven Roach a call on 07952 498009.

Cultura Brazil – show 201

Click below to listen to the show again:

Cultura Brazil is Phoenix FM’s show for the Brazilian community in Essex, London and beyond, presented by Ezequiel Cassol.

In this week’s show:

‐ Cine Clube Brasil exhibits film at the Brazilian Embassy in London
‐ Cardiff mini Film festival features Brazilian film

You can hear the show every Sunday evening at 1900 UK time.

Vicki Michelle’s Music Mix – Show 20 (Family special!)

Click here to listen to the show again:

Today’s show had a family theme – with songs about family members or bands made up of family members!

We also chatted about the World Cup and updated listeners on the England v Panama game – which England unbelievably won, 6-1.

Back next Sunday at 2pm, see you then!

Today’s playlist:

Sister Sledge – We Are Family
Nolan Sisters – I’m In The Mood For Dancing
Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
Temptations – Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone
Boyz II Men – A Song For Mama
Mel & Kim – Respectable
Bros – When Will I Be Famous
Beverley Sisters – Sisters
Osmonds – Crazy Horses
Bell and Spurling – GoldenBalls
David Essex – Hold Me Close
Jacksons – Blame It On The Boogie
Isley Brothers – This Old Heart Of Mine
Bee Gees – How Deep Is Your Love
Andrews Sisters – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin – Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves
Luther Vandross – Dance With My Father
Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
Olly Murs – Troublemaker
Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian
Terence Trent D’Arby – Sign Your Name

Life after the X Factor – Sam reveals to listeners his plans for a busy summer

Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette

We welcomed back Brentwood’s very own Sam Callahan to the Phoenix FM studios last week.

Sam may be familiar to many of you as a contestant on the X Factor in 2013 – shortly after he first performed for us at one of our Brentwood Centre gigs, no less!

He has certainly proved himself to be no flash in the TV talent show pan, with regular appearances on the gig circuit across the UK and overseas.

Sam visited Nick Field’s popular Thursday night show Curveballs and we were treated to two new versions of the track tonight alongside a live acoustic session.

He also discusses life after the X Factor as well as his plans for a busy summer of live shows.

His latest single Say Something is out now and you can hear the interview again at

* Guests coming up on air in the next seven days include David Sollis and Rachel Horton-Smyth from Healthwatch Essex and organisers from the Doddinghurst Stonley Festival who will be chatting with Rev Patrick Sherring on Friday Night Extra.

* There will also be live music in the studio from the SoSlam Songwriters Project and also from Harry, who won Best Solo Act 2018 in the recent Undiscovered competition run by the Essex Music Network,

The Doddinghurst Stonley Festival 2018

The Inaugral Doddinghurst Stonley Festival will be held in the Village on Saturday 23rd June and Sunday 24th June.

Tudor fun for all the Family will be available as we celebrate the life of Richard Stonley, a diarist who lived in Doddinghurst in Tudor times, whose diaries are in the Folger Museum in Washington DC and who is the first recorded purchaser of a work of William Shakespeare. Events taking place include:

Saturday 23rd June
11.30am – 4.30pm
Doddinghurst Village Hall
Join us for a variety of fun activities for all ages to celebrate the life of our very own local Tudor diarist, Richard Stonley. From pillow jousting to craft stalls to a history trail to Tudor dancing and music we have things for all tastes. Ploughman’s lunches and afternoon teas also available.

Sunday 24th June
FREE Diary Masterclass for 6-11 year olds
Doddinghurst Village Hall
We are delighted to welcome Natasha from Chicken & Frog Bookshop who will run a fun and interactive workshop. Become a Tudor write and thespian in an hour!

12noon – 1pm
FREE Diary Masterclass for 11-18 year olds
Doddinghurst Village Hall
We are delighted to welcome Natasha from Chicken & Frog Bookshop who will run a fun and interactive workshop. Become a Tudor write and thespian in an hour!

3.30pm – 5.30pm
Play On!
Doddinghurst Village Hall Park
Adults £10, Under 16s £5, Under 3s FREE
Family Ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £25
We are delighted to welcome the renowned Shakespearean touring theatre company to Doddinghurst. They are going to provide us with a fabulous open air afternoon performance full of improvised Shakespearean comedy. Scheduled for after the England match, why not bring a picnic and make it a fun and relaxed afternoon.
(If bad weather, performance will take place inside Village Hall).
Bar available.

For more information visit the official website at

The Whole Package – 16 Jun 2018

Thanks for listening to tonight’s show – if you missed it you can hear it again here:

On tonight’s show I chat to:

– ex-ELO guitarist Dave Scott-Morgan
– Kaz B talking about the UK Glamour Awards
– Author, Psychotherapist and Life Coach Dr D U Sivri

Jason leads the way on #3030 Challenge

Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette

We’ve recruited a number of Phoenix FM presenters – including myself – to take part in the #3030Essex challenge!

The idea is a very simple one – the challenge encourages people to do 30 minutes of exercise in each of the 30 days of June. There’s no specific rules about this – it could be something strenuous or something not normally associated with exercise, such as gardening, housework or even walking – as long as people get moving.

The challenge is being spearheaded by Active Essex. The group’s director, Jason Fergus, came down to the studio to explain how it all works.

Jason and Phoenix go back a long way – he was a guest on our very first “trial” broadcast back in December 1996 when he was Sports Development Officer at Brentwood Council. He enjoyed his visit so much that we recruited him to present a weekly show for the three remaining weeks of the broadcast trial!

You can hear Jason talk about #3030Essex on our website at and you can find out more about the challenge at too.

* Lots more guests coming up in the next seven days on 98FM. Andrea Sandell will be talking about locally-produced film Cassandra and and solicitor Brian Hughes from Shenfield’s Rainer Hughes will be talking about consumer rights.

* There will also be live music in the studio from The Silver Bayonets, Drew Tobias and Stormy Space Weather.

The Whole Package – 09 Jun 2018

Thanks for listening to tonight’s show – if you missed it you can hear it again here:

On tonight’s show I chat to:

– Rachel Williams talking about CAFCASS and Family Courts
– ABC News host Aaron M Sanchez
– Author, Psychotherapist and Life Coach Dr D U Sivri