Sheffield Hospital Radio: Hospital radio station’s £10,000 appeal to get back on airwaves

A long-running Yorkshire hospital radio station is raising money to renovate their new home and get back on the air.

Volunteers at Sheffield Hospital Radio are currently working to raise funds to buy and install equipment to convert a potential new home into a broadcast studio. The station has been off air for two years after Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust deemed its previous home unsafe owing to health and safety regulations.

The trust has now found a new suitable location for the volunteer-run venture, which had been entertaining patients in Sheffield since 1976. The station is hoping to re-launch from a new home on the site of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

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Volunteers at the charity have been actively fundraising in the time they’ve been off air as they hope to replace the station’s ageing equipment, which is becoming increasingly unreliable.

Sheffield's Northern General HospitalSheffield's Northern General Hospital
Sheffield's Northern General Hospital

Fundraising endeavours have included collecting donations from roadshows at various venues across the city, car boot sales and social media appeals. Funds raised so far do not cover the costs of refurbishing their new home or buying the equipment needed to restart broadcasting.

The station is aiming to raise £10,000 and is hoping to attract sponsors and donors to help get them back on the air.

Steve Flowers, a presenter and programme coordinator for Sheffield Hospital Radio, said: “If the radio station can’t continue, then the patients in the hospital will miss out on a station that’s dedicated especially to them.”

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Explaining the value of hospital radio to patients in Sheffield, he said: “Around 40 per cent of our patients don’t have any friends or relatives visiting, so a cheery face from hospital radio staff visiting them by their bedside can really brighten their day. Combined with hearing their favourite song and their name mentioned on air, it can help boost their mental well-being.

“It would be a massive blow to Sheffield not to have its own hospital radio station after serving Sheffield patients for the last 48 years.”

Prospective donors can directly help by sponsoring specific items that need funding at the station, including the all-important mixing desk, the woodwork, decorating and broadband setup costs. The station is currently supported by donations from Morrisons, TecSec, Motability Sheffield, Westfield Health and Crystal Peaks shopping centre.

Professor Chris Morley, the chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Hospital radio has been a part of patients’ stay both here in Sheffield and across the NHS throughout the years with committed volunteers putting many hours into making it interesting and enjoyable. However, we know that technology has changed the way patients access entertainment and the type of activity they now choose to fill their time.

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“It is predominantly through their own devices using our free wifi service rather than the old bedside radio. It’s the right time for Sheffield Hospital Radio to look at a different way to broadcast using new technology.”

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