So after I passed my Foundation the first radio i bought was the ubiquitous Baofeng UV-5R plus . I wanted something i could use quickly with minimum setup and to communicate to the other members of my club.
The main hurdle with the UV5R is programming the radio. This can be achieved using the CHIRP software. Searching the web for list of UK repeaters and 2M and 70cm frequencies produced a set of spreadsheets that could be fed into CHIRP and programmed into the 5R.
As well as the 5R I bought an antenna, a MRW-205R 2/70CM SUPERGAINER. This, i believe improves the reception of the radio but makes it a little less stable as the antenna is about 30 cm long