Since the 1960s, radio stations run by and presented by volunteers have become a characteristic and much-valued feature in many UK hospitals.
This is Rugby Hospital Radio, a charity providing the internal radio service to the patients here in the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby, Warwickshire. We broadcast 24 hours a day delivering a continuous schedule of programmes covering music from classical to country, show songs to popular hits, as well as comedy, drama, religious content and news. These programmes are produced by our own people and also by members of the national hospital radio movement.
More than 20 hours per week is presented live from our purpose-built studio right here in the heart of the hospital. On most evenings during the week, our volunteers visit the wards to meet patients and ask if they would like to request a piece of music. For many people who find themselves in hospital, a positive encounter like this can make a real difference to their day.
Our founding was in 1972 when a group of teenagers from a Rugby youth club began broadcasting to patients in St Cross. Initially, they were only able to broadcast for a couple of nights a week using disco equipment, which they had to set up and take down each time.
The broadcasting service steadily grew and in 1981 the hospital allowed the station to use a room in the roof space of the Victorian building as a permanent studio. Also around this time, Rugby Hospital Radio became an organisation in its own right and secured registered charity status.
Since then we’ve continued to expand our service, winning national awards and, most importantly, receiving appreciative feedback from patients.
In 2010 we moved out of the attic to a new location on the hospital site, which has now been converted into an impressive studio, and in 2012 we celebrated our 40th anniversary.
In early 2013 we improved our online presence by updating this website and moving to Facebook and on Twitter. Late in 2014 we added the ability for listeners to hear podcasts of selected programs, taking the station into the broader community for the first time.
We look forward to many more years of entertaining, informing and reassuring patients.