SHMU, Aberdeen, Scotland

Station House Media Unit (SHMU) is a cutting-edge, volunteer-led community media hub based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Each week it supports and trains more than 100 residents to generate community-led content across four platforms: radio, video, print and online.

SHMU is based in the heart of the communities it serves – seven regeneration areas of the city designated amongst Scotland's 10% most disadvantaged: Northfield, Cummings Park, Middlefield, Woodside, Tillydrone, Seaton and Torry.

It is a charitable company limited by guarantee, and is governed by a Board of trustees comprising of volunteers who have had significant personal experience in the project. The operations are run by a team of 15 full and part-time staff.

SHMU operated four pilots as part of the Incluso project (see below for more detail):

  • Youth Radio Project (SHMU-based radio broadcasters aged 11-18)
  • SHMUTRAIN (SHMU-based course for 16-18 year olds not in education, training or employment)
  • Middlefield Youth Flat (external, drop in centre for 11-25 year olds based in Middlefield)
  • Tilly Youth Project (external, youth centre for 11-18 year olds based in Tillydrone)

SHMU has also developed a free website, with a content management system, which can be used by youth organisations to act as the ‘public website’ explaining its social media activities to the general public.

The Incluso coordinator at SHMU opted to use an application called Ning, which enabled the development of a social network, open only to members. Then Ning application was free to set up and use, but in July 2010 the company decided to adopt a paid-for business model. This coincided with the end of the Incluso project.