Back to Annual Reports homepage
During 2005, WHR continued to provide daily visits to patients at the RHCH and to broadcast live programmes every day, including all public holidays.
After a thorough review of WHR's service, the programming and visiting schedules were significantly changed in October. The amount of live programming was reduced, by an average of an hour a night, to allow our volunteers to concentrate on producing quality programmes with increased patient involvement. Attention was focussed on "The Sound Remedy", our nightly programme made up of music requests collected from patients by our team of volunteers. This programme was increased in length by 30 minutes to two hours, with the first hour broadcast live from one of the wards six nights of the week - up from two ward-based broadcasts per week previously. Additional interactive features were also included in the programme.
Anna O'Brien, chatting to a patient
live on air on Christmas Day.
The frequency of ward visits was also increased to three visits per week for most wards to coincide with the programming changes. We consider our visits to patients on the wards to be just as important as our programmes. Even if a patient doesn't want a piece of music played, our volunteers are happy to have a chat.
Leona Jones shows Sir James Scott
around WHR's studios.
Each week throughout the year, our award-winning chat show "Person to Person" was broadcast. Guests during 2005 included: local radio presenter, Chris Wright; senior hospital chaplain, Nick Flood; the hospital's Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) Manager, Pam Sorensen; and the High Sheriff of Hampshire, Sir James Scott.
At times of the day when we were unable to broadcast live programmes, our computerised programme playout system, ARCHIE, provided a "music jukebox" service consisting of an eclectic mix of popular easy-listening music to complement the other radio channels available to patients.
The changes made to our service have been very well received by patients. In addition to receiving many more requests for music, we have seen the number of patients actively taking part in our programmes increase considerably. They are now both talking to our volunteer presenters who are by their bedside, and using their bedside telephone to call our studios (free of charge) to request music or take part in on-air quizzes.
In 2006, whilst continuing with the interactive live programming, it is intended to work on getting ARCHIE to the point where the music jukebox can be replaced by a more structured programme schedule including, hopefully, repeats of "The Sound Remedy".
One of our aims has always been to keep patients updated on events and activities taking place in the local community, so that they don't feel isolated from the world outside the hospital. As well as having guests in to chat on "Person to Person", we were out and about at several local events.
Once again, we provided the public address facility at the Littleton and Harestock Show, and we broadcast the Christmas carol concert from the North Winchester Community Church.
Paul Blitz and Helen Down entertain shoppers
at Sainsbury's supermarket with an impromptu dance.
We also take every opportunity to let the local community know about our service. We staged our annual Roadshow from Sainsbury's supermarket in Badger Farm and provided speakers for a number of local clubs and societies, including the Badger Farm Friendly Group, part of "Club Hampshire" - a club which promotes the well-being of older and disabled people.
For the third year in succession, the quality of our programmes was recognised in the National Hospital Radio Awards, with judges' commendations for two of our entries. The "Person to Person" programme in which our Station Manager, Anna O'Brien, spoke to a Nurse Specialist about "Protected Mealtimes" in the wards was commended as one of the top ten speech programmes, whilst Leona Jones was similarly commended in the Presenter of the Year category.
Treasurer, Nigel Dallard, receives the Charities
Online Accounts Awards certificate and cheque
from the Chairman of the Judges, Graham Ward CBE
(left) and President of the Institute of Chartered
Accountants, Ian Morris (right).
The year ended on a high note when our 2004 Annual Report and Accounts were also singled out for praise in the Charities Online Accounts Awards run by the Charities Aid Foundation and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The Report and Accounts were judged best in the country in the category for charities with an income under £100,000 per annum, resulting in us collecting a £5,000 prize.
At a ceremony in London, the chairman of the judges commented on the "high level of transparency and disclosure in the financial statements" and said that the documents were "better than many of the large and medium-sized charities". He concluded by saying that the judges "were all left with the feeling that it would be a pleasure to give money to such an obviously committed, driven and fun organisation."
WHR also made the national press during September when "The Independent" newspaper ran a feature called "Best Bedside Manner" covering a dozen hospital radio stations they considered to be offering the best service to patients.
On a more local level, during 2005, WHR was fortunate enough to obtain coverage of many of our successes and special events in the local press. We were also privileged to be featured as part of Meridian TV's "Britain on the Move" - a series of special reports that they were running on volunteering during 2005 - "The Year of the Volunteer". A camera crew from Meridian joined our volunteers for the evening to take part in "The Sound Remedy" request programme, both on the ward and in the studio.
Finally, our Station Manager won a competition to "guess the mystery voice" on regional radio station "Wave 105". She kindly donated the prize, of 19 CDs to WHR. On hearing of the donation, Wave 105's Programme Controller generously threw in a few extra CDs and adjusted the collection to ensure that it included music that our patients would enjoy listening to.
WHR receives no funding from the NHS or other government departments, relying entirely on the work of our volunteers and the generosity of the public to raise funds.
At our annual Supper Quiz, "Martin's Marauders", a team led by one of our long-standing supporters beat our Chairman's team, "Tony's Tigers" to collect their "Certificates of Knowledge". The event, held at the Millennium Memorial Hall in Littleton, raised over £800.
John Richards and Vicky Lambert
collecting donations during WHR's
Roadshow at Sainsbury's supermarket
in Badger Farm.
Our other major annual fundraising event was our Roadshow from Sainsbury's supermarket in Badger Farm. Collecting money from shoppers whilst broadcasting to the patients from the car park raised £520.
Michael Jennings during
his marathon broadcast.
Michael Jennings, a member of the hospital's nursing staff who has volunteered with WHR for the last decade, undertook a 21 hours non-stop broadcast to mark the 21st anniversary of the launch of our service to patients on 24th September 1984. Sponsorship of Michael's effort raised over £500, with further money due in 2006 as a result of Gift Aid refunds which we will claim from HM Revenue and Customs at the end of the tax year.
A variety of other fundraising events, including collection days at Eastleigh and Andover and a Car Boot Sale in Winchester raised over another £1100.
2005 was celebrated nationally as the "Year of the Volunteer". WHR staged a number of events to recognise the efforts of our volunteers and the time they give to patients throughout the year; we presented "Thank You" certificates to all our volunteers during "Volunteers' Week", and President of the Hospital Broadcasting Association, June Snowden, visited our studios to present Long Service Certificates to some of our volunteers who, between them, had clocked up over 300 years of volunteering.
HBA President, June Snowden, with long-serving
Cover artwork for WHR's
Trustee, Nigel Dallard, presents
We also presented some "Certificates of Appreciation" to three of our volunteers who had completed special projects to help the station:
New volunteer, Kayli Steggall, talking to a
patient during "The Sound Remedy".
We welcomed about a dozen new volunteers to the team during 2005. Although recruitment was put on hold towards the end of the year so that we could focus on launching our new programming schedules, recruitment will be a priority during 2006.
WHR has a very diverse team of volunteers that range in age from 16 to 94! All new volunteers go through an induction programme which introduces them to all aspects of our work so that they have a good understanding of what hospital radio is all about and the benefit it brings to the patients. They can then go on to involve themselves in any of the roles within the association, ranging from the "front line" presenting and visiting roles to working behind the scenes on engineering and IT support, in our extensive music library, fundraising or general administration.
Our visits and the music requests we subsequently play are welcomed by many patients. It's always good to receive feedback from our listeners, and it lets us know that what we do, in some small way, helps patients to take their minds off their worries during a stay in hospital. Here are just a few of the many "thank you" messages we have received over the year:
"Because we can't get out and about and visit people, you do it for us - and I think it's great!"
"It's just nice to do something for someone else isn't it?"
"When you're on the wards talking to people and playing their songs, you make us realise we're not alone - we're all in the same boat. And by doing what you do, you bring the community together and take our mind off things. I think that's marvellous."
"Thanks to your team for visiting me and playing my requests. It has made a difficult time in hospital pass by so much more pleasantly."
"I want to dedicate my song tonight to all the volunteers at hospital radio. Thank you for your visits. I've really enjoyed our chats and the music you've played me."
"You were all so kind in my really down moments… Thank you."
Back to Table of Contents Continue to Independent Examiner's Report