We continue to celebrate acts of kindness in communities across the county in our #SaltOfTheEarth campaign, which we are running throughout the year with local media.
Read below the story of Brett Butler, who took to the airwaves to keep people’s spirits up during lockdown. Look out for more #SaltOfTheEarth stories published by our media partners and on social media all year.
If you know someone who makes a difference in their community, we’d like to hear about them. Tell us at SaltOfTheEarth@northyorks.gov.uk
Brett Butler, from Skipton, has provided a lifeline to many residents with his skills as a DJ.
While furloughed from his bar job at the Boathouse, in the canal basin, Brett turned to radio broadcasting to keep everyone’s spirits up.
It was a case of occupying himself doing something he loves while spreading that love to his listeners through his CV19 Show live on Facebook.
He said: “When the lockdown happened I managed a bar in Skipton and prior to that I actually worked at Skipton Town Council.
“Before I had worked in radio broadcasting most of my life, and certainly mobile discoing and stuff since I was 13. I just thought music tends to be the thing to bring everybody together.
“I just thought I would put together something I enjoy doing, which would help me mentally while I’m furloughed. Originally I was only going to do one or two a week, then decided because there are so many different genres of music and people like different things then I ended up doing seven days a week. I did a show every single evening between 8pm and 10pm ranging between all sorts.
“On a Monday I’d do a specialist show which would be a specific genre so one time I did reggae, one time I did Latin, one time I did punk and new wave.
“On a Wednesday was a rock show, on a Thursday was what I call club classics, like dance music, in effect. Friday was a request show, Saturday was a party show and Sunday was what I call a stress-buster, some nice chill tunes to relax to.”
Brett said that within the first week it got picked up by South Craven-based Drystone Radio, which asked him to do a show for them every week. His stress-buster show is still running every Sunday.
After eight weeks of going on air each night, he decided to spend a bit more time with his family and has reduced his output to three shows each week on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“Thursday’s is still club classics as that is a favourite.
“Saturday I changed it to an all-request show so people literally pick all the music for the two hours. And Sundays is obviously my stress busters, and every now and again if somebody wants one, I will put in a Monday show.
“I’ve had a lot of support and it’s been very good. It works both ways, as they interact with me, so I get that bit of interaction, and it helps me mentally.
“I am quite a stable person but it has helped me considerably. I have family that have had to shield, so it’s been a way of channelling my mind-set really, just to use music in that way.
“I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s taken me back to my days of when I used to work in radio. I started in Wakefield straight from college, when I was 17, and used to help set up the radio station in the town house called Ridings FM.
“What brought me to Skipton in 2003 was a job at what was Fresh Radio but is now Stray FM.”
He also said he had to thank his understanding wife as currently he DJs from the kitchen, but is looking to move his equipment into a spare room.
One person who found his online music show a lifeline was self-employed Allan McIntyre, who works as a heating engineer and is sub-contracted by Skipton Stoves and Ranges.
“I was on lockdown and my wife was working from home. Between us we were doing the home schooling.
“I’ve known Brett for some time. He’s a great bloke and when he started the radio show I said that time was my time. It is great.
“I’m back working now and the shows are only on a few nights a week, but I will enjoy listening to them.”
Allan’s wife Karen added: “It really kept him going throughout the lockdown, which I’ve been grateful for. Brett’s shows have given him the respite he needed to get through the days and weeks and what turned into months.”