Torbay Hospital Radio started to broadcast to the staff, patients and relatives of Torbay Hospital in 1977.
I wasn’t around in those days but fast forward 30 years, I joined Torbay Hospital Radio as a budding young radio presenter.
I remember it well. My time with THR started off on a Friday evening Jazz Show with Ron Reynolds.
As life got busier, my time at Torbay Hospital Radio came to a temporary end.
A few years later I found myself looking at the Torbay Hospital Radio website to see if they were looking for volunteers again.
My application came at the right time as the station engineer had just left to move on, and with my background in sound engineering and live events, I was quickly accepted by Torbay Hospital Radio once again.
A few years and lots of gaffa tape and WD40 later, November 2019 arrived.
What is the significance of this date you may ask? November 2019 marks the month in which I was voted in by my fellow volunteers to become the new chairman of Torbay Hospital Radio.
In the 40-plus years that Torbay Hospital Radio had been in operation, the last 10 plus years had seen very little investment was starting to lose sight of what Torbay Hospital Radio meant to people, apart from being a hobby to those who volunteer.
I got to work straight away on my five-year plan for the station.
My first mission? A much-needed refresh to bring the station into the 21st century.
Next, answering the most important questions; What is hospital radio? What does hospital radio mean to people.
We teamed up with the students at Torquay Girls' Grammar School to design a new logo.
The logo we now use today was the winning design created by Amelia Jones.
Amelia said: “I thought of this design because the headphones represent radio, and the heart represents the love and care for the patients.”
This is what Hospital Radio means – providing music, company and entertainment to the patients and staff of Torbay Hospital.
A listener once said that music is the best medicine, and we believe that if the service we provide can help aid in the recovery of patients, we are achieving our goals.
Next up on the list was revamping the studios.
We spent a lot of time - and a bit of money - on new equipment, including the addition of a new digital desk to help bring our station to the modern day of broadcasting.
When Covid-19 hit, so did the many sleepless nights filled with worry.
I had taken over the station as the new chairman, we’d just spent a large amount of money updating the studios and now the world was changing.
Live events were being cancelled which meant our outside broadcasts - and main source of fundraising - couldn’t happen, but when I was elected as the new chairman, I was elected along with an incredible team of trustees and volunteers behind me too.
They are truly an incredible team of people who have supported me through our darkest days and, along with our amazing team of volunteers, helped to raise funds in creative and innovative new ways.
The charity is currently in the best position it has ever been.
We have an incredible, state-of-the-art studio that is fit for purpose, a-growing team of volunteers and from Saturday, March 19, we are excited to announce that Torbay Hospital Radio will be live on 95.9FM!
This is a historical moment for the station and a major milestone for our charity.
If you ever find yourself in hospital for whatever reason, why not listen in?
Torbay Hospital Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. We’re always here to keep you company. Visit www.torbayhospitalradio.com for more info.
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