Get a message to your loved ones in Kettering General Hospital this Christmas
The hospital radio service relaunched last year with an online service
A radio station relaunched a year ago has invited listeners to spread Christmas cheer to patients and staff of Kettering General Hospital this festive season.
With visting on wards only allowed in exceptional circumstances, programmes on KGH Radio have become a lifeline by playing requests and providing friendly voices to those in hospital.
Broadcasting from a new modern studio, the group of 17 volunteer presenters produce 38 hours of programming for patients and staff providing frontline services.
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Steve Bellamy, station manager, said: "Spending time in hospital is never great at the best of times, it can be a lonely and scary place.
"Adding to the situation with Coronavirus and visitors not being able to visit someone whilst in hospital isn’t making things any easier.
"KGH Radio is here to bring Christmas cheer to the patients and staff at Kettering General Hospital and community."
Relaunched in December 2019, the original Kettering Hospital Radio closed down in 2018 after 50 years of voluntary service.
The global service is available on tablets and phones and can be found online or by scanning a QR code.
Steve, a retired accountant, said: "We know all too well just how much it can cheer someone up when a patient hears their favourite song on the radio.
"We would love it if the great people of Kettering and Northamptonshire could get behind KGH Radio and help us spread the word about the work that we are doing.
"If you know someone staying at Kettering General Hospital, you can tell them to tune in to KGH Radio and you can both listen to the same songs at the same time as one another.
"We've got a fairly extensive library and if you want a particular song then the presenters can source it.
"We want to engage with the whole hospital community - it's a huge number of people - and we are trying to include what they do and the music they like."
At the start of the pandemic the hospital volunteers were not allowed to visit the patients on the wards to reach patients and play their requests.
But the presenters managed to put out pre-recorded programmes to connect with listeners and have returned to their Covid-secure studio.
To publicise the radio station the service has produced a programme magazine, in partnership with local businesses and Age UK Northamptonshire, with programme schedules, presenter profiles, interactive crosswords and puzzles to keep patients and staff entertained.
The programme schedule starts with the daily breakfast show from 8am to 10am and continues every evening from 5pm to 10pm. There is also a show on Monday lunchtimes from midday to 2pm.
Steve added: "We can keep people in touch with the outside world. Hearing a friendly voice can be very comforting.
"Even if we just affect and cheer up one person, that would mean the world to us."
To send a dedication, message or a song request to a patient or member of staff email [email protected]