This week is Small Charity Week North East 2020, and The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has provided us with the following case study to demonstrate the value and impact of just one small charity in our region.
Richard Finch is the Station Director at Radio Tyneside, which provides a hospital radio service to the RVI, Freeman and Queen Elizabeth hospitals, and a community radio service, focusing on health and wellbeing, to the wider Tyneside community on 93.6FM. He took some time to answer a few questions for us.
Q: Why does your community need you?
Our aim is to encourage and support good health and wellbeing by the inclusion of informative and inspiring features, by promoting the work of people and organisations in the community and by encouraging individuals to get involved and be active, for example by volunteering. Here’s a small, but great example of why the hard work we put in to deliver a great radio service is so worthwhile:
Around the time of peak Covid-19, I received a message from a friend. He told me about someone he knew that had been admitted to the RVI suffering from the impact of the virus. During his stay in hospital he had discovered Radio Tyneside and had been very complimentary about the service. My friend asked me to play a track for him by his favourite artist, Barry White. I duly obliged and dedicated if from named family and friends who were really looking forward to the day they could be reunited.
A week later I received another note from my friend. Hearing the track and dedication while in hospital had been a real tonic and had brought a tear or two to his eye at the time. After some scary moments, the patient had now been discharged from hospital and was continuing his recovery at home with his family. I made a point of relaying this good news to our listeners.
Q: What are you most proud of?
Radio Tyneside has won numerous awards at the National Hospital Radio Awards ceremony over the years. We've previously won Gold and Silver for hospital radio ‘Station of The Year’, and in 2018, we were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Services.
Q: What do you offer that’s different, innovative or successful that other local communities and organisations could learn from?
We are entirely run by volunteers for the benefit of our community and rely entirely on fundraising and donations. Our programmes are heard by around 20,000 regular listeners on Tyneside – and beyond. We aim to be at the heart of the community, by providing companionship to listeners – many of whom may be isolated and lonely due to ill health, and by letting them know about the many organisations and services that are there to support their health and wellbeing in particular.
Q: What type of support would make the biggest impact on your organisation?
Financial support, obviously, but publicity also helps and we’re happy to hear from and work with any organisation to promote their work and the services they provide to our listeners.
Q: How do we follow your work?
You can listen to Radio Tyneside on Hospedia, the bedside entertainment system in our three Tyneside hospitals, on 93.6FM and online via our website or radio apps such as TuneIn and RadioPlayer.