There aren’t many of us who haven’t heard of a friend, relative, family member or work colleague who has had to visit Southlands Hospital as an outpatient or go into Worthing Hospital. The whole process can be a bit daunting and filled with apprehension, even when we all know that the doctors and nurses will do their utmost to give us the best care. However, there is another group of dedicated individuals who want to ensure your visit to hospital is the best experience possible and they come in the form of the volunteers of Seaside Hospital Radio.
This group of unsung heroes put together a wide variety of programmes that are broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the patients, staff and visitors at Worthing and Southlands Hospitals. Seaside volunteer Gillian Fischer told us why she joined the hospital radio station and about the good work it does “Seaside Hospital Radio is great place to learn about presenting radio. The station is always open to new ideas and all types of creativity and that is shown in the variety of the shows it broadcasts. Presenters endeavour to produce interesting shows and convey a friendly and reassuring voice to the patients during their stay in hospital”.
Patients can access Seaside Hospital Radio FREE via the hospitals Wi-Fi system. When they leave hospital they can continue to listen at home via the internet on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or smart TV by logging onto the Seaside Hospital Radio website www.seasidehr.com and click on the Listen Live icon on the home page.
Seaside Hospital Radio has a long and varied history which started way back in the early 1970’s as Southlands Hospital Broadcasting Service and it is in Southlands Hospital that it has its studios today. Over 30 volunteers give their own time to put together shows which include a non-stop mixture of 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s hits, love songs and relaxing classic music through the night. The more specialist shows include classical, 50s music, disco and party classics, jazz, country and easy listening, as well as shows dedicated to groups and artists such as the Beatles, Elvis and Queen. So there really is something for everyone including national and international news on the hour, every hour.
Presenters have recently started broadcasting a show specifically designed for people with dementia. The show is called “As Time Goes By” and is broadcast every weekday, Monday to Friday between the hours of 12 noon and 2pm and plays a nostalgic selection of listeners favourite music from the 1940’s, 50’s 60’s and 70’s. Seaside Hospital Radio member Dave Field told us “The aim of As Time Goes By is to evoke memories and there is much evidence that this type of therapy is beneficial for people with dementia”. As Time Goes by can also be enjoyed by all members of the family and is listened to in a number of care homes in the area.
Not only do the volunteers put together the shows but they also give their time to raise funds; as a charity, Seaside Hospital Radio does not receive a regular income and without sponsorship, donations and fund raising it would not be able to continue its good work. Chairman of Seaside Hospital Radio Bob Burgess explains why; “We have ever increasing costs for routine studio maintenance, utility bills and broadcasting licences. He went on to say “We recognise the generosity of the public and the work each member contributes to fundraising for the station and as a result of all the hard work we have managed to entertain the patients and all those involved with Worthing and Southland’s Hospital Trust (WSHT) for over 45 years.”
As Seaside Hospital Radio serves Worthing and Southlands Hospitals the presenters like to interact with all their listeners and they love to read out messages and dedications. This can be done by contacting them through the seasidehr.com website contact page or simply email email@example.com.
You could also become a volunteer presenter and join the ranks of presenters such as Simon Mayo, Bob James, Tim Humphrey, Ambrose Harcourt and Adam James who started there broadcasting careers at Seaside. Could you be next? It’s a good way to learn about broadcasting so why not join us, training is given on all aspects of radio broadcasting and you could have your own show, go to seasidehr.com and fill out the membership application form.