Simon & Garfunkel are perhaps best known for coining the phrase “bridge over troubled water”, but Banbury’s hospital, health and wellbeing radio is continuing to build bridges between care home residents and their families, keeping them entertained during the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, Radio Horton were approached by local theatre production group, Voices Across Time who delivered a Community Outreach programme to local care homes. Unfortunately, COVID-19 (coronavirus) meant that Voices Across Time had to put the brakes on its Outreach Programme. Luckily, Radio Horton were on hand to offer a solution, a platform to enable Voices Across Time to produce a radio programme/podcast which is now distributed to several local care homes, in addition to patients at the Horton General Hospital.

The production, called Bring Me Sunshine is produced entirely by Voices Across Time and broadcast on Radio Horton on Sunday’s from 10:00 – 11:00 with repeats during the week. Now into its second series of programmes, Bring Me Sunshine encompasses songs to sing along to and gentle activities in which listeners can participate from their homes or hospital beds, intertwined with music requests from local care home residents, patients in the Horton General Hospital and voicemail messages from friends and family members.

Each week, a topical theme is set for Bring Me Sunshine and recently, themes have focused on travel, dancing, and food. The music and topics of discussion are based around the respective themes accordingly with content carefully designed to engage and trigger powerful emotions or memories from listeners.

People wishing to leave voicemail messages for family members or loved ones, friends or even a member of staff they would like to thank, can do so by calling (01295) 404104 or emailing studio@radiohorton.co.uk.

Radio Horton Brings Sunshine and Connection to Care Homes

One care home whose residents are enjoying the weekly broadcast is Lake House in Adderbury. “We have listened to Bring Me Sunshine and informed families about the broadcasts too,” said Teresa Fisk, Activities Coordinator. “This has had and still is a very positive part of our week here at Lake House, especially to all our residents and their families.”

Bring Me Sunshine promotes physical and mental health by concentrating on the social aspects of connecting families and friends with their loved ones via voice messages; engaging through thought-provoking content; generating conversation; songs to sing along to, with physical and vocal exercises for body and voice.

Age UK, Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Society research has found that music has a positive effect on individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by connecting and stimulating memories from somebody’s life which can often result in a personal response. Playing music from a significant period or event in a person’s life such as a song from their wedding, birthday or anniversary can help recall special memories and emotions.

Radio Horton is looking to continue working with Voices Across Time and local care homes to share their combined array of tailored content. Any care home wanting to become involved or find out more about the service can contact committee@radiohorton.co.uk for more details. Radio Horton will supply an internet radio free of charge to any care home wishing to participate.

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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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