Hospital joins radio network

PUBLISHED: 15:56 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 21:44 31 May 2010

Radio Forest at Saffron Walden Community Hospital.

Radio Forest at Saffron Walden Community Hospital.

GOOD morning Saffron Walden Community Hospital (SWCH)! Staff and patients at the hospital on Radwinter Road have welcomed the arrival of community broadcasters Radio Forest. The charity has been broadcasting across West Essex for more than 30 years and ha

GOOD morning Saffron Walden Community Hospital (SWCH)!

Staff and patients at the hospital on Radwinter Road have welcomed the arrival of community broadcasters Radio Forest.

The charity has been broadcasting across West Essex for more than 30 years and has recently launched its service in the Avocet Ward at SWCH.

Vice-chairman of Radio Forest Community Broadcasting, Deborah Smart, said: "We have found that music can be very therapeutic for the staff and the patients and really helps to perk everyone up.

"Going in to hospital can be quite an isolating experience, especially for elderly people, and music can help to get people talking and give them a common interest."

The broadcaster's popular service, Classic Hits Forest Gold, will be broadcast into the newly refurbished Avocet Ward with plans to expand into the rest of the hospital in the near future.

The service will provide music, entertainment and local news 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"We play a little bit of everything," said Ms Smart. "We find that the classic crooners such as Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack are very popular. I think our most requested song ever is Teddy Bear by Elvis Presley.

"We encourage people to call in and request songs, so hopefully the people at Saffron Walden will get involved. Our volunteers will also visit the hospital to collect requests in person."

Radio Forest has invested around £5000 to bring the service to patients at SWCH. The funds were raised through a combination of Radio Forest's own fundraising, and with vital support from the Saffron Walden Hospital League of Friends.

Radio Forest is a registered charity and run entirely by volunteers. It broadcasts to St Margaret's Hospital in Epping, The Spencer Close Unit in Epping and The Derwent Centre in Harlow. It relies entirely on fundraising and donations to maintain all of its services.

If anyone is interested in either volunteering with Radio Forest, or advertising a local service on Forest Gold, email studio@radioforest.co.uk. Further information can be found at www.radioforest.co.uk

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