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Stuart's Story

Sound Academy, Adult Training

After a fruitful career in photography Stuart, now in his 60s, joined Sound Academy’s Adult Training reigniting his personal creativity and enthusiasm to learn.


Adult Training is Sound Vision’s free, inclusive and personalised training in radio and podcasting. Trainees make a regular commitment, and the training is customised to their aspirations and needs. Whether they want to learn to be a researcher, writer, producer, presenter, editor, or technician, they can develop skills, meet new people, represent their community, and volunteer for public benefit.


Stuart, now in his 60s, has always been interested in radio production especially after a work experience stint with BBC World Service. His career took him in a different direction, and he spent 40 years as a successful photographer. After retiring in 2023 and resigning as Chairman, Chief Trainer and Finance Officer of his local photographic club, he had planned to transition into teaching photography. This was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving him at a crossroads.

Still interested in radio, both as an avid listener and as a hobbyist operator, he obtained an Amateur radio licence and started looking for a path forward in broadcasting and radio.

Stuart reached out to three different training providers - Sound Vision was the only one to respond and had placed him in Adult Training within 2 weeks of his enquiry. He completed his training at Somer Valley FM, one of the partner radio stations in our network of training hubs.

Since my involvement in Sound Vision, my life has changed for the better and I feel it has put me back on track regarding my personal creativity and enthusiasm to learn. I look forward to many years of involvement in Sound Vision and Somer Valley FM and would love to take advantage of any extension in Adult Training."

Stuart, March 2023, Adult Training, Sound Academy


Stuart had experience in traditional radio production, for example using ‘cut and splice’ techniques as well as editing software Audacity. He regularly committed to training, quickly bringing his natural instincts and experience into a modern context.

With guidance from our lead trainer Maggie Harding and leveraging online resources, Stuart honed his skills. He expanded his knowledge base, refreshing and becoming more adept with Audacity and producing audio for broadcast. He developed his prowess in research, content creation, recording in the studio and on location, and editing.

Stuart has rekindled his passion for radio, as well as his personal creativity and enthusiasm to learn.

Significant achievement

He responded rapidly to the training and was soon producing and editing the sound for the “When Coal was King Show” with Bryn Hawkins, Somer Valley FM’s flagship heritage show.

Listen to the show here.

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