About HRN

All About Us and Our History

  • Began broadcasting from and to the West Norwich Hospital [Norwich Community Hospital] in December 1974 as well as the former Norfolk & Norwich Hospital replaced by the new Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital in 2000.
  • Very shortly in 1975 moved to premises in All Saints Green donated to us by local business man the late Peter Pointer.
  • After his death in 1984, moved to premises rented from Norwich City Council in Exchange Street, Norwich.
  • Whilst at Exchange Street eventually negotiated with the West Norwich Hospital to return in 1987 and there stayed until Sept 2007. Moved to Aldwych House, a NHS support office in the heart of Norwich but in 2010 finally, HRN was given a home on the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital site.
  • Patient visiting takes place in teams of 3-4 and is broadcast to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital 6 days per week visiting 22 wards on a rota, speaking to approx. 60-70 patients per night. 
  • A computerised music play-out service is on air when live broadcasting stops.  This programme was written especially for HRN by their Chairman & Technical Engineer, Mike Sarre with some 3,500 tracks of a variety of music to suit, in the main, the more mature listeners. This service runs non-stop 24 hours. Should circumstances prevent 'live' broadcasting patients will still have music.
  • In two professional broadcasting studios built by Chief Engineer Mike Sarre & Hon. Treasurer, Bob Proudfoot, besides broadcasting, also able to produce hospital related/not for profit organisation trails to advise and inform patients of appropriate services. Sponsor-ship messages for programmes from local businesses are also accepted.  Studio two is also used as a training and production studio.
  • Built an excellent relationship with the N&N Foundation Trust and Management, N&N Voluntary Services Dept and front-line medical staff, whom hold HRN in high regard. 
  • Hon. President and Hon. Vice Presidents – Hon. President NHS Trust Chairman, David Prior.  Vice Presidents – David Clayton, Susie Fowler-Watt, Dr Ian Gibson and ex-twice Lord Mayor Derek Wood.
  • The aim of the organisation is to help relieve the stress and distress of hospital life through the medium of broadcasting and befriending whilst on the wards. This in turn keeps patients in touch and provides comfort to them during their stay in hospital.
  • With a fantastic, caring membership of over 30, and through personal contact with patients, the request programme output is approximately 650-700 requests per 4-weeks.
  • Patient booklet produced, which is published by Braintree Company, Hospital Radio Publications.  This helps towards generating income for HRN. 
  • Originally in-house designed information leaflet and now with a professional makeover by Naked Marketing, given to patients and also inserted into the patient-pack by Hospedia.
  • The station reaches patients through the Hospedia communications system on Channel 1.  The Hospedia Management at the N&NUH support HRN and work with HRN who voluntarily inform patients how to use the communications system and ensure patients who show interest, are tuned in. 
  • HRN is the most listened to channel of the radio stations on the system and continually tops the radio listening charts.
  • In August 2007 and again in 2011, HRN was awarded the Investors in People certificate confirming the interest it takes in its members.  
  • HRN is following the guidance of quality standard [PQASSO] a professional qualification for small businesses and voluntary organisations in business practices.
  • All new entrants [applicants] are given full training as well as vetted by the hospital voluntary services through a CRB check and occupational health check.  All ward visitors must wear ID badges whilst on NHS/hospital premises.
  • In 2009 Hospital Radio Norwich was honoured with the prestigious distinction of receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
  • Patients are now able to listen to the religious service from the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital Chapel through HRN’s Channel [1]. 

HRN’s Chief Engineer & Chairman, Mike Sarre, was instrumental in advising the hospital Chaplains on best practice to achieve this and in helping build a mini studio.

  • HRN members are rewarded for their commitment & loyalty to the organisation.  Five, ten and twenty or more year’s service is recognised by the Management Committee with certificates and gifts as well as Special Achievement certificates to mark those members who go the extra mile.
  • Each year to raise funds HRN acts as facilitator for Exchange Radio.  Children and young adults from Norfolk schools and colleges partake in producing their own programmes with the help of HRN’s volunteers.  Training can take place at schools or the studios by Chief Engineer Mike Sarre.  This project is managed by NWES World of Work, the education and business link for schools and colleges providing work experience for students and young people.
  • The former Hospital Sports Commentary Service, a separate entity approached HRN with a view to forming an amalgamation.  In 1999 agreement was reached.  All Norwich City home matches are brought to the patients by HRN’s specially trained commentators.  Many patients have remarked on how much they enjoy listening to HRN’s commentary rather than other local stations. 
  • The Hon. Chairman of HRN is also Hon. Chairman of the Hospital Broadcasting Association’s Eastern Region, bringing together hospital radio stations across East Anglia for an exchange of information and friendship to further enhance stations and help bring comfort to patients.
  • The longest serving members of HRN are founder member Robert Proudfoot Hon. Treasurer, Mike Sarre Hon. Chairman/Technical Engineer and Irenee Batch Hon. Secretary.  All 3 have collectively clocked up an amazing 108 years of voluntary service.
  • Very recently HRN felt that Norwich/Norfolk poets could help bring some relaxation to patients and so approaching the Evening News, the newspaper agreed to print the request asking poets contributing to Poets’ Corner to contact HRN to read/have read out their verse to listeners.  Excellent poems have both been recorded & broadcast during this year.
  • During April 2010, HRN was again honoured.  This time with the Lord Mayor’s Award for services to charity and the Sheriff’s award for best charity.  A wood turned plaque and certificate were received by the Trustees of the organisation.
  • During June 2010, The Exchange honoured HRN with an inscribed crystal plaque to show their appreciation for the work carried out voluntarily for students and young people.
  • HRN is negotiating with the Colman Hospital Complex to bring its unique service to patients.  Very soon those patients can tune in to be comforted and entertained as those in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

HRNs Registered charity no. 270189