Whether you’ve lived in Watford all your life or just a few years, you will probably understand that the town is always changing. I lived in Watford from 2004 to 2017 and within that time, I saw an immense amount of change thanks to Mayor Dorothy. When I look back at my time in Watford, I am always proud of being part of this change too.

In 2006, I set out to bring Watford its own radio station. The idea was to try and convince the regulator Ofcom that Watford could sustain a full-time community radio station, predominantly aimed at under-35s. It was important that the station was presented in an upbeat, vibrant way that would encompass the feel of the town. With this in mind, I led a team of volunteers to put together four trial broadcasts from 2006 to 2010. Shortly after our final trial broadcast, we had an opportunity to apply for a full-time broadcasting licence, which we applied for and won in 2010. Vibe 107.6 FM launched full time in Watford on August 11, 2011 and is still on air today.

There is a huge list of people who I’d like to thank for their part in the project from my time with the station. However, there is one person who was absolutely key to helping me start the ball rolling - Mayor Dorothy. At the age of 22, I remember meeting Dorothy at the town hall to discuss my idea - a radio station that would reflect Watford’s diverse young community and help to promote small businesses and fellow social enterprise projects.

In May 2006, the first short-term trial broadcast was carried out. At the time, Dorothy assisted by announcing her support for the project and helped point us in the right direction for funding to get ourselves underway. After five years of short-term broadcasts and gaining support from local organisations and businesses, Vibe 107.6 was due to launch. Dorothy was present for the launch that took place at the studios in Watford Community Housing Trust HQ on Clarendon Road and had seen the whole project through from its first trial to full-time launch.

In addition to supporting Vibe 107.6, Dorothy has had an extremely positive influence in Watford as the UK’s first female mayor. Examples include her contributions to the redevelopment of the shopping centre and market, Croxley Rail Link, health campus, and community fireworks. She has been a strong leader in the town throughout her 16 year tenure, even during the financial crash in 2009.

Although I have now moved from Watford, I’ll never forget Dorothy and her time as mayor. The improvements she has made have been very noticeable and I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours.

Matt Cadman

Founder of Vibe 107.6 FM