Far down a long corridor at Leicester General Hospital, tucked away in a compact broadcasting studio, we found local residents Ian Green (Station Manager) a former postal worker, and Mandy Nuttall (Presenter) a former university librarian, two of 22 dedicated volunteers that run Radio Gwendolen.
Fifteen volunteers were proud to attend the City’s LEICESTER CARING AT ITS BEST ceremony and gala dinner held recently at Leicester Athena, where the Station was presented with a ‘highly commended’ award.
Radio Gwendolen, the first hospital radio station in Leicester, was set up in a disused broom cupboard by two schoolteacher friends in 1974 and still broadcasts today. Similar in style to Radio 2 the programme plays a wide range of music to the patients including wartime, swing, 60s, 70s, soul, light classical and much more. Ian and Mandy are Christmas carol devotees. They have basic rules ‘if it hurts our ears we don’t play it. We do not play depressing music, we do not dwell on the bad news of the day – we just keep it entertaining. The therapeutic power of music cheers us up as well as the patients – we always come away buzzing’.
Speaking of his long association with Radio Gwendolen Ian says ‘While equipment may have changed and a lot of people have come and gone, what stays the same is the dedication of the volunteers to providing a quality radio service for the patients of the Leicester General Hospital’
The staff of Radio Gwendolen are all unpaid volunteers and need to raise funds for new equipment. Smaller items such as a tape deck they pay for themselves. They are appreciative of the hospital authority’s payment of Performing Rights Society and Phonographic Performance Ltd licence fees which are approximately £2,500 per year.
Time schedule 24 hours per day, seven days per week on 1287 AM
For requests from outside the hospital telephone: 0116 25584290
For requests from inside the hospital telephone ext 4290
See website: Radio Gwendolen