Registered Charity No 1068428

  Hospital Radio run by volunteers for the patients, staff and visitors of Halton General Hospital in Runcorn, Cheshire - Registered Charity No 1068428

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  What is hospital radio?     What songs are played?    Top 20 listener requests

How does it help?  smiley relaxing                  Recent Donations - see the About Us page

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Mary Hill's Indoor Sky Dive to raise funds

Mary sky diving Mary HillVolunteer Ward Visitor Mary Hill took part in an indoor sky dive to raise funds for Radio Halton.  She went to the Airkix wind tunnel near Manchester on Monday 11 July 2016 to do this for us.  She said she thought she'd be too scared to do the full drop, but not only did she do it from the top, she went up and did it a second time!  Well done Mary!

We've set up a fundraising page for the event on Virgin Money Giving - follow the link here http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MaryHill11 , and she raised £53 from that, together with £161 via her sponsor forms, making a total of £214 !

Find out more about Mary on her page of our website

2016 is our 30th anniversary

30th birthdayAll our volunteers agreed that we should do something special to mark 30 years of hospital radio in Runcorn.  We held a stall in the hospital on Thursday 14 July between 10 and 2 and are delighted to say that the Mayor of Halton, Ged Philbin, came to see us.  He presented a cheque on behalf of the canal walkers to Pam Eastwood, made out to Radio Halton for over £3,000

The tombola was back  - with some fantastic prizes on offer.  With the help of local businesses in Runcorn, Widnes and Frodsham donating so many prizes, we raised £123.63 - thank you letters are on the way to those kind people

Thanks to Amy O'Connor, and her mum Karen Knowles, who was involved when it all started, for these newspaper clippings...

Karen and Cliff    presenters 30yrs ago

... and we're pleased to say we've had an email from Derek Owens, who was involved in the early days of the station - thank you for getting in touch! 

Volunteers Week 2016 - Market stalls in Runcorn and Widnes

VolsWkLogoPam Eastwood and Derek Gates were part of a stall in each of the markets to celebrate Volunteers Week which ran from 1 to 12 June this year... Yes, it was a bumper week, longer than just 7 days!Runcorn Market stall Pam Derek

Two people took application forms to join us at Runcorn market on Tuesday 7 June

Widnes Market stall Pam Derek

In Widnes market on Wednesday 8 June one person took an application form.  It was nice to chat to you when you stopped to say hello

Widnes Market crowd 16

100 miles walk

Walkies Dave John DerekOur volunteer Derek Gates successfully completed a 100 mile walk to raise much needed awareness and funds for two local100 miles logo charities:  Radio Halton and St Luke's Care Home in Palacefields.  Along with John Timms and David Timms, the three 'lads' have a combined age of 189, and walked 100 miles along 5 canals in 6 days

They started from Birmingham on Monday 9th May.  Both charities mean a lot to them and you can look at their ambitious journey on Facebook at canal walk and also on Twitter @fivecanalwalk16

Despite difficulties, they made the epic journey through all kinds of weather

WalkRuncornStation WalkMud WalkThumbsUp WalkRearTs WalkHeroes

Mayor and JohnAs they reached the finish on Saturday 14th May at The Brindley in Runcorn, the Mayor of Halton, Cllr Ellen Cargill, was there to welcome and congratulate them

Find out what motivated the lads here, thanks to Barbara Jordan of the Runcorn and Widnes World

Walkers total 6163They deservedly passed their target to raise £3,000 by more than twice that amout -  the final total raised was over £6,000, which has been split between Radio Halton and St Luke's Care Home.  This was revealed by Derek at an afternoon of celebration at  Pavilions in Weston

When do Radio Halton broadcast?

HeadphonesYou can hear Radio Halton exclusively in Halton General Hospital 24 hours a day, as our broadcasts continue overnight thanks to our Myriad software providing a 'round the clock' schedule.  We include the news on the hour between 10am and 10pm

The hard-wired system feeds to the bedside and the speakers.  We also broadcast within the hospital via streaming on the Trust intranet, so staff in departments can access the service on their workstation computers

Currently, 10 people volunteer their time to provide the service to patients, visitors and staff

We're making more songs available on the playlist so that the same songs don't come round too often.  This week we've been adding songs from 2016, plus songs patients have asked for that weren't on our system:

  • Electric Light Orchestra 'When the night comes'

  • Rod Stewart 'Can we stay home tonight'

  • Nat 'King' Cole 'Stay as sweet as you are'

  • Prince 'Little red corvette'
          • Birdy 'Wings' (from the TV advert for Lloyds Bank's 250th anniversary)

What is hospital radio? 

freephone on the wardVolunteer Rob chats to patientOur volunteers visit patients on the wards and chat with them to help them relax. We find out what music they like, then play it for them when we get back to the studio

In between volunteer visits, patients can use the Radio Halton freephone to request a mention or a song to help the time pass more easily

Volunteer Rob chats to a patient

Patients can settle back into bed or an easy chair and relax to favourite music through ...

headset...the bedside headset - it's all technology from more than 40 years ago - no wires involved here, just a pipe into the console on the wall with a volume knob and a channel knob - so it is literally piped music! 

  • Select channel 3 for Radio Halton

  • Select channel 2 for BBC Radio 2 (we've recently improved the sound quality on this channel)

We hope to be able to add BBC Radio Merseyside to another channel soon, depending on the radio signal reception to ensure good quality sound

There are loudspeakers in the outpatient clinic waiting areas and also in Entrance 1 - nearest the busway - to help people relax whilst sitting there

Do you know someone in hospital?  You can find the station that serves their hospital and request a song or send them a message.  Just click on the HBA logo below to go to the site of the organisation for hospital radio in the whole of the UK

HBA logoAre you interested in joining hospital broadcasting?  If so, you can find out what we need people to do on our Join page


The benefits of music in hospitalSwarb at the Brindley 09

Legendary folk musician Dave Swarbrick said, "Hospital radio is a fantastic service, with volunteers giving their time free to entertain patients with music.  When I have been in hospital, which is quite considerable, I have been very glad of it.  As a musician, you don't realise the therapeutic effect it can have until you are receiving it yourself.  Without having music and great friends around me in hospital, I would have been climbing the walls.  Keep up the good work"

Find out more here... Why do we provide music?

Russell WatsonRussell Watson also told how music helped him through illness, when chatting to Ken Bruce in Dec 2010:

"Music helps Ė during the times Iíve been really ill, Iíve listened to a lot of music and I find music incredibly therapeutic.  There were days particularly when I was having the radiotherapy treatment and when I felt really down, and itíd give me a little bit of a lift and a buzz inside"

CompetitionsNCO bassoon

Radio Halton gave away a pair of tickets for the Friday 8 April 2016 concert at St Elphin's Church in Warrington by soloists from the Northern Chamber Orchestra

The programme featured Schubert's Octet, Mozart's Horn Concerto and 20th century composer Jean Francaix's Divertissement, which spotlights the bassoon, played by Llinos Owen - here she is in action on the right >

The winner on Pam Eastwood's programme "In Classical Mood" on Tues 5 April was Julie Shaw from Warrington

Thanks to Kathryn at the NCO for providing the tickets.  Find out more about the orchestra and its players at www.ncorch.co.uk

News - Streaming

Streaming on the intranet has stalled at the moment, following an issue with the Trust's computer in our office, which is still runnign Windows XP.  The IT team at the Trust are helping us to sort it out.  Then we should be able to get the stream sent across the car park to the Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre onto their bedside system

Once it's up and running again, if you work in the hospital, you can listen on your computer while you work, using Windows Media Player.  Just click File, click Open URL..  and type http://HSD-180A:8080 into the box which will stay in the dropdown box for next time you want to 'tune in'.  It works best with a pair of computer speakers


  • Clare TealClare Teal came to Runcorn to appear at The Brindley on Friday 22 April 2016 and Graham Tarry caught up with her for a chat ahead of the gig.  Clare, along with her trio, showcased the music of Doris Day

  • Derek Gates spent some time chatting with Rev Philip Turner, who is the Chaplain at the hospital.  Listen out now for some "Thought for the Day" short talks from Rev Phil.   Find out more about what chaplains in hospitals offer at http://liverpool.anglican.org/Chaplains-to-Hospitals

New Volunteers

John Timms
John Timms
, who successfully completed the 100 mile 5 canal walk in May 2016 has joined us and is training on a Thursday morning with fellow walker Derek Gates

Runcorn resident Eileen Kelly is doing her training with Derek Gates on a Friday morning...
...look out for her as she visits the wards

There are another 4 potential volunteers going through the recruitment process at the moment
Sorry you're leaving

AudWe're sorry that Audrey is having to leave us because of difficulties.  We'll really miss you and I'm sure the patients will miss your cheery smiling presence around the wards and clinics 
Wishing you well for the future, Audrey!

Change the world - or at least Halton!

Our appeal for more volunteers is called "change the world" - we've put it on this page for you to hear - click on the link, then click your back button on your browser to return here

Updated by:            The Webmistress purple spider  24 August 2016

The Webmistress is currently using KompoZer to update the site, IrfanView for image editing and WinSCP to upload the pages


Registered Charity No 1068428