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Written by on January 22, 2017

Craig Robinson presenting live from home

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we took the difficult decision to close our studios to our volunteers. In these uncertain times, we believe hospital radio is more important than ever. With NHS visiting being restricted we were very keen to continue as many live broadcasts as possible. The NHS Trust, through the kindness of donations issued out 200 tablet devices for patients, and Prince Bishops Hospital Radio was made available on every device, but we needed a way to stay on the air.
Our dedicated volunteers remained ready to step in to entertain the patients from their own homes. Unfortunately we only had a limited amount of outside broadcasting equipment, which is intended for occasional special events. It was quickly apparent that we needed to act quickly to keep our service on the air.
We reached out to Pat Chambers, the manager of CDDFT Charity to see if they could help get some of our volunteers on the air on a regular basis. Pat and the team at CDDFT charity were quick to step in providing a grant of £1,500 to purchase microphones, mixers and other equipment to get our volunteers back on the air.
Within a week, Dennis Duncan was the first volunteer to be back up and running from his back bedroom broadcasting his popular Tuesday and Thursday morning magazine programmes. 2 weeks later, we were broadcasting live programmes 6 days a week from volunteer homes. Demand for equipment soon outstripped supply and we were delighted when the local freemasons stepped in to provide additional equipment to allow more of our volunteers to broadcast from home.
After the pandemic, some of the equipment will be repurposed for outside broadcasts and to help us run our popular charity quiz nights at the Spice Lounge Indian restaurant. The remaining equipment will be used to allow our vulnerable volunteers to continue to broadcast from home.

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