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Tuesday, 20 February 2024

Podcast: Sara Robinson, Director of St Augustine's Centre

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Viv and Dave Boardman's podcast Real Voices of Happy Valley has reached its 27th episode with a chat with Sara Robinson, Director of St Augustine's Centre for refugees and asylum seekers.

The podcast started as Adventures in Retirement, a travelogue of their journey around the world between September 2022 and the end of January 2023 before it transformed into Real Voices - a series of chats with people of the Calder Valley. With Adventures in Retirement, that makes 50 episodes!

"We learned how to record, edit and upload podcast while on the road and thought it would be good to carry on when we got back," said Dave.

What occurred to them was that the valley appears a lot in TV dramas. "We loved Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax and The Gallows Pole – and realised Happy Valley especially was popular with people we visited in Australia," he added. "Then we thought, actually the people who live here are more interesting than the characters on TV shows." That gave them the idea to base their next series on chats with local people, so they renamed the podcast Real Voices of Happy Valley and started on season two. 

In the latest podcast, Viv and Dave visit the St Augustine's Centre and see the incredible work that goes on there. They talk with Sara Robinson from Hebden Bridge, who is the Centre Director. She explains that after 30 years working in the Arts, she was so impressed by what she saw as a volunteer, that when an opportunity arose, she decided to apply to run the place. Photo: Viv Boardman with Sara Robinson at the St Augustine's Centre.

As well as Sara, chats have included Roger Doherty who created his calendars of bird photography to rase money for food banks, Winston Plowes, land artist and Pam Warhurst of Todmorden Book Festival.

"The great thing about doing this is that we already knew lots of interesting people and the podcast has introduced us to more," said Viv. "Artists, musicians, people running food banks, Colin Lyall who runs the Todmorden UFO Meet and the people protecting High Hirst Meadow behind Doddnaze … what amazing people. The interview with Sara is probably the most important. It shows what a caring lot the people of  Calder Valley are."

Find the Podcast

Listen here for the interview with Sara Robinson

Twenty seven episodes of Real Voices of Happy Valley are now available on Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple and a wide range of other sources. People who don't normally use podcasts may find it easier to go straight to their podcast website page or reach it via the Facebook page: Real Voices of Happy Valley.

Viv and Dave are also interested in hearing suggestions of who else they should talk to – message their Facebook page with suggestions.

Previously, on the HebWeb

HebWeb News: In episode 10 of Real Voices of Happy Valley, Hebweb editor Chris Ratcliffe discussed the origins of Pennine Pens (Aug 2023)

HebWeb News: Viv and Dave talk with Kerry McQuade and Neil Diment about the High Hirst Wood Meadow Project. (Aug 2023)

HebWeb News report: Podcast: Real Voices of Happy Valley (June 2023)

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