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Caithness FM > About Caithness FM

Status of the Company

Caithness FM is a company limited by guarantee. Basically this means that we are a non-trading, limited company and that members limit of liability is restricted to the amount paid in membership. After legal consultation, we decided to become a legal company to offer some protection to the directors of the company and our constitution has now been replaced with Articles of Association and Memorandum.

When forming the company, we had initially hoped that Caithness FM would be eligible for charitable status as it is a strictly volunteer organisation with a commitment to the community. However, we were advised that this is not possible under Scottish Law, which classes community radio as entertainment. Community radio stations in England can, however, obtain charitable status.

As a company, Caithness FM is managed by a Board of Directors - in this case, made up of volunteers, some of whom are also presenters. All directors are elected by the members at the AGM. We have no employees and no member is paid for their services.

The Board is currently made up as follows:


Frank Charlton


Colin Grant

Roger Saxon

Jackie Johnson
(Company Secretary)


Doreen MacLeod


Bob Johnson
(Training & Fund-raising)


David Sinclair
(Building Manager & Scheduling)



Patsy Sinclair




Commitment to the Comunity

Caithness FM has received a tremendous amount of support from the people of Caithness and it has always been part of our remit to provide a service to the community as a whole wherever possible. We do this partly by providing an information service - from lost cats to severe weather reports! but also by supporting other voluntary groups in the area. Our "Community Profile" slot on Tuesday evenings is used by other groups to tell the county about themselves and to promote their organisation or event. We also have a twice weekly "What's on" slot which is totally free of charge and can be used by voluntary groups to advertise forthcoming events. We try to attend local galas etc, providing music and P.A. facilities on occasion. This is still difficult for us to arrange however, as we really need a trailer of sorts to house our equipment - our next fundraising campaign!

As part of our ongoing commitment to the community we have also tried, where possible, to help other groups in practical matters - two members of the local "Talking Newspaper" group use our facilities to record their readings to save them a forty mile round trip to Wick where their own equipment is housed. We have regularly lent out our fund-raising equipment and even on occasions provided the people to do the fund-raising!

One aspect of our community involvement that we are particularly proud of is the "Pet of the Week" slot. Run in conjunction with Balmore Animal Welfare Centre, the Pet of the Week slot is presented by Barbara Bain during her country show. In the first nine months of running this item over twenty animals were re-homed thanks to the Pet of the Week slot and the Caithness FM listeners. Two of the lucky animals even came to thank Barbara in person (or should that be in dog?)

We have in the past allowed students from the North Highland College to use our facilities and indeed broadcast live as part of their assessment for the National Certificate in Media Studies. We try to accommodate groups of visitors whenever possible, especially from local youth groups as the youth of today are the presenters of tomorrow! Also as part of our involvement with young people, we have taken teenagers on board to assist them in obtaining part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award, either as service to the community or to help them to develop in the skills section of the award.


Most of our training is conducted "in house". Obviously presenters require training in the practical aspects of "desk driving" which can only be undertaken in the studio. We currently have one qualified trainer and a second who is into the final stages of his "training for trainers" qualification.

In house training although cheap and practical provides its own problem in that most of our members are either employed or in full time education during the day and the studio is live in the evenings - so scheduling training can sometimes be difficult. A situation we hope to remedy one day by having two studios.

We can call upon the services of experienced trainers provided by Highland Regional Council should we require specialist training e.g. interview techniques, making jingles etc and this training is partly funded by the local enterprise company.

We recognise that training should be ongoing and hope that even experienced broadcasters will make use of short courses on specialist subjects as they become available.


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