Sandwell Hospital Radio began broadcasting from the studio complex situated next to the courtyard garden, in the grounds of the hospital on the 25th January 1985; however, the history of hospital radio in West Bromwich began longer than that.
It was in the 1950’s that the husbands of the WRVS, who worked in the West Bromwich & District Hallam Hospital, decided to provide a football commentary service to the patients in hospital on West Bromwich Albion.
This service was the only broadcast in those days, and although the service has improved 200% since then, it is with regret that Sandwell Hospital Radio no longer broadcasts a commentary service on the Albion. We did have our own press box at the Hawthorns, sadly most of our members left to find new pastures and now we don’t have enough volunteers to carry on with this service.
Sandwell Hospital Radio was known as Sandwell Valley Radio, which used to broadcast from the basement of the hospital, right next door to the morgue!
The room was very tiny indeed, in fact you could not get more than three people in there at anyone time!
After a few years, it was decided that Sandwell Valley Radio needed a new home, and the manpower Services Commission kindly lent the support.
A grant was obtained from marks & Spencer for £10,000, and work started on the new complex early in 1984. The name of the organization was changed during this time and gained Registered Charity Status.
On the 25th January 1985, the new complex was opened. The first show to be broadcast was that of Ed Doolan MBE, who presented his lunch-time show that day from our studios, live to his listeners on BBC Radio WM. Ed Doolan MBE is now our Honorary President of the station, and supports us in a very “hands-on” way!
Two committees, each run the organization governed by the Constitution and Rules of Sandwell Hospital Radio.
The Executive Committee acts very much like a Board of Directors in any company. It is made up of four key positions, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and eight committee members. These positions are elected yearly at the Annual General Meeting, and any full member of the station can nominate themselves to the committee.
The Executive oversees the strategic and financial running of the organization. They meet quarterly. The committee also appoints a Station Manager annually, and this position is responsible for the day-to-day control of the station. The Station Manager heads the Management Team.
This team is responsible for key areas of the organization such as; Programme Control, External Promotions, Recruitment, Engineering, Studio management and Training.
The Management Team is in control of the stations operations. This team meets on a monthly basis.
As a member of Sandwell Hospital Radio you will meet various people from differing walks of life. Collecting requests from the wards may, after a while, seem very mundane, but it should be remembered that the feeling of having your name mentioned on the radio, and that favourite song played can be a great tonic to a sick person.
Members also help out with the External Events programme. It costs £15,000 per year to remain in existence. This is part of the membership to contribute to 75% of the year’s events. After all, without finance, we can not continue our vital service.
We do have students from schools ringing the studios up or writing letters asking about work experience. Due to low numbers in volunteers we are currently unable to cater for work experience, so we can not offer placements at this present time. We apologise for this inconvenience.
DISABLED ACCESS AT SANDWELL HOSPITAL RADIO
Sandwell Hospital Radio is located in an outbuilding on the hospital site next to the Courtyard Garden, at the back of the Newton block of the General Hospital.
We are situated outside the centre of the town in West Bromwich.
The nearest mainline Railway Station is Sandwell and Dudley.
There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the studio complex.
The hospital does have its own car park.
Parking is not free for all users.
Parking is not free for Blue Badge holders.
The car park is at the side of the building.
The car park type is open air/surface.
Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do not need to be booked in advance.
There are 2 designated parking bays within the car park.
The dimensions of the designated parking bays are 2.78m x 4.5m (9ft 1in x 14ft 9in).
The nearest designated bay is 14m (15yd) from the entrance.
The furthest designated bay is 16m (17yd) from the entrance.
The route from the car park to the entrance is not accessible to a wheelchair.
The car park surface is tarmac.
There is a dropped kerb/non stepped access from the car park to the building.
The patron does not have to cross a road.
The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
There is not a designated drop off point.
Outside Access (Sandwell Hospital Radio Entrance)
This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
There is not level access to the service.
The main doors open away from you (push).
The doors are single width.
The doors are light.
The door opening is 75cm (2ft 5in) wide.
There is a second set of doors.
The doors open away from you (push).
The doors are single width.
The doors are light.
The door opening is 69cm (2ft 3in) wide.
No Level Access (Sandwell Hospital Radio Entrance)
There is a ramp or slope to access this area.
The ramp or slope is located in front of the entrance.
The ramp or slope is steep.
The ramp or slope is permanent.
There is a step to access this area.
The step is located in front of the entrance.
There is 1 step to the area.
The step is not clearly marked.
The step is shallow.
The step does not have handrails.
There is level access once inside the studio complex.
There is a hearing assistance system.
The hearing system is available only on request.
The system is a portable loop.
Staff are trained to use the hearing assistance system.
The studio complex does play background music.
Music is played in some parts of the venue.
The lighting levels are adjustable.
The type of flooring in walkways and corridors is carpet.
Adapted facilities are located on the ground floor of the main hospital building next to the lift area.
Standard facilities are located on the ground floor of the main hospital building next to the lift area.
Staff do receive disability awareness training.
Registered assistance dogs are welcomed.
A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not generally on duty.
This service cannot be requested.
Staff are not Text Relay aware.
Sandwell Hospital Radio ceased broadcasting in July 2019.
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