A recent study has found that hospital radio has a positive impact on psychosocial health outcomes. Perhaps of paramount importance within hospital radio, is the role of the ward visitor. The unsung heroes of hospital radio, ward visitors are the friendly face-to-face contact, spending their time volunteering on the wards- meeting patients, helping them use the bedside entertainment systems, discussing their favourite musical tastes and collecting requests for the evening request programmes.

“Many patients might not see a friendly face, or non-clinical staff member during an entire day they are in hospital. Our ward visitors really do contribute and help bridge that gap. Hospital radio can be a welcome distraction away from the medical business and ward activities,” explains Sam Smette, Radio Horton Trustee and Programme Coordinator.

Banbury’s hospital radio station, Radio Horton was first launched in July 1964 by local journalists, Ted Hanson MBE and Graham Wilton. Their aim was to provide light entertainment, reassurance and a friend to patients in hospital by playing their favourite choices of music.

New research from the Royal Voluntary Service has revealed that sixty-three per cent of Britons agree that volunteers provide essential emotional support to hospital patients when doctors and nurses are stretched for time.

Helping out at a hospital radio might not be the first thing most people think of when thinking about volunteering, but it is clearly a way to support people during a difficult time, and it’s a good example of how volunteering can be fun for the volunteer too.

“I love getting to play my favourite music, and share it with people who may need to hear a friendly voice,” said one of Radio Horton’s newest members, Will Beech, who was recently awarded with the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Love music and looking for a voluntary role where you can use your passion to help others? Find out more about Radio Horton here.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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