On Monday 13th March, Sound Vision, a charity founded in Midsomer Norton with goals to expand nationwide and beyond, held a special presentation evening celebrating new trustees and commemorating another stepping down after six years at the helm. 

Held at the Centurion Hotel, the evening was one of celebration, with CEO Dom Chambers leading the event. The reception started with Dom noting the charity’s journey so far, the ideas of which were routed within the foundations of Somer Valley FM, the community radio station founded in 2008.

The presentation featured a video tour of the facilities based in Midsomer Norton, with a few words from pupils who take part in the charity’s alternative learning environment and after schools clubs.

Following the video, thanks were given to Mike Gorman, who had decided to step down after six years on the board of trustees. Many milestones were achieved during Mike’s leadership, which the Sound Vision team expressed their gratitude for by presenting him with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Community Media 2023’ award at the reception. 

Sound Vision presentation eve
From left to right: Mike Gorman, Maxine Stride, Pete Helmore and Dom Chambers. (Richard Sykes)

Two new trustees have been appointed in his absence, Phil Gibbons, who has taken on the role of chair of trustees and Maxine Stride, who has been a long-standing member of the Sound Vision team.

Sound Vision presentation evening
Phil Gibbons, the new Chair of Trustees, speaking at Sound Vision's presentation evening on Monday 13th March. (Richard Sykes)

Sound Vision is the new name for the Somer Valley Education Trust, which was originally set up to provide education and training by delivering skills-based learning in safe, non-judgemental environments. This includes exploring creativity in audio and making radio and podcasts in a studio environment, using facilities at Somer Valley FM to teach multimedia skills. 

The charity still takes on these objectives and more,  empowering not just those in education, but individuals, communities and society.

Since 2017, when this charity’s venture began, their aspirations have grown in line with their achievements.

The name change compliments the growth of the charity into new geographical areas, as it no longer solely serves the Somer Valley area. The team now offer training hubs in a variety of locations, with the goal of expanding their services to a national level.

Explaining more about how Sound Vision works alongside the standard learning environment, Dom said: “There are so many challenges that young people face in education, and schools are there to help resolve those challenges but they can’t do the lot.

“We are there to complement education by providing a skills-based learning environment that’s safe from the fear of mockery, which is really crucial.

“Why are kids not standing up in front of the classroom, or making friends in the school yard? Because they’re afraid they’re going to get laughed at. With us, they can come and explore their creativity, get some things wrong, and get a lot right. They are free to do that in a safe and non prejudicial environment.”

To learn more about Sound Vision and the work they do in our community and beyond, visit their new website.