Banbury Sound presenter nominated for top radio award

Alex White with 'Mabel' and Kirsty Leahy. NNL-140209-151321009
Alex White with 'Mabel' and Kirsty Leahy. NNL-140209-151321009

Banbury Sound DJ Kirsty Leahy has been nominated for the Arqiva commercial radio awards after raising more than £1,400 for charity.

The presenter is welcome company for many drivers forging their way across Banburyshire each morning and now she has been selected to be among the finalists in the Social Action Initiative Award category for her dedicated support of Dogs for the Disabled (DftD).

Kirsty opted to support the charity after meeting Alex White, who is affected by autism, and his dog Mabel.

“I came up with the idea of doing something different for charity,” Kirsty said. “I’d baked cakes, ran and danced. The only thing left to do was to jump out of a plane, but I had a back operation when I was 15 and didn’t want to jolt any vertebrae.

“So I contacted Hook Norton and asked them if we could produce a charity beer and after lots of planning and meetings – and after a lot of tasting – Thirsty Kirsty was born.”

Described by the brewer as a “really cheeky little number, just like the presenter herself” Thirsty Kirsty appeared at food and drink events across the county, receiving the backing of celebrity chef Brian Turner at the Banbury Fayre.

Kirsty added: “It was blood, sweat and tears, often working seven days a week on the breakfast show and pulling pints at the weekend to try to raise enough money to buy a puppy for a family with a child affected with autism or a child or adult with physical disabilities.”

But all the hard work paid off as Kirsty smashed her target with funds going to the training of a new assistance dog.

“I would like to thank everyone who let me come to the events, everyone who bought a pint or made a donation and especially to the volunteers with DftD and Hook Norton who donated all of the beer and gave me constant support.”

The Arqiva Awards, now in its 20th year, is the largest celebration of UK Commercial Radio. This year’s awards will be held in London on July 8.

Catherine Goddard of DtfD, said: “Dogs for the Disabled is very grateful to Kirsty Leahy for her hard work fundraising for the charity and wishes her every success in the Arqiva radio awards.”