Volunteering with HRN
If it’s volunteering you might be interested in, perhaps you will allow me to tell you about the world of hospital radio - and in particular - Hospital Radio in Norwich.
Hospital Radio Norwich is a small registered charity and totally voluntary organisation keeping afloat through fund raising and donations. It exists to provide comfort to patients in the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Its aims are to both visit the patients at their bedside and equally to offer an information and entertainment service through the medium of broadcasting.
The studios are based at the Hospital and the organisation is run by a Management Committee of nine persons of varying expertise, including football commentator, skilled electronics engineer, sound engineer, administrator and business managers. It boasts around 18 members to carry out the necessary day to day tasks with live broadcasting taking place each evening. The Management Committee is also hands-on.
The organisation also is delighted to have achieved in August 2007, the Investor in People award. This was followed in 2009 by the Queens Award for Voluntary Service (The Crystal Tablet & Certificate signed by the Queen are on view in the cabinet by the Stock Shop on level 2 of the west atrium)
The hospital itself welcomes the service as the Patients’ Request Show broadcast by the members, brings forth the feel-good factor for patients when capturing those happy memories from a special melody. With a music library of over 72,500 tracks it is not very often we are caught out.
Bed-side visiting also suggests therapy; just having somebody to talk to and saying the right things when there are no visitors around, helps allay worries and uncertainties during a patient’s stay and all members find this a very satisfying and worthwhile experience. Many find this develops their communication skills.
New people to the organisation, undergo 12 weeks of training and induction to ensure they are sensitive to patients’ requirements. It is a rule of the organisation that the patient always come first. The applicant is accompanied onto the wards with an established member to give confidence and advice and to explain the procedure before entering the wards i.e., infection control [wash hands] and patient confidentiality [no snooping at the hospital notes!]. A criminal records check is also undertaken. 

Once the applicants are adept in these skills, and after a satisfactory audition broadcasting techniques can be taught - if so desired - but it is not a requirement of membership so anybody who is mic. shy [like myself] does not get pushed in front of the mixer desk with a pile of CDs and left to get on with it!
The service is always on the lookout for extra help to swell the organisation with skills such as administration, fund raising, communications and electronics. So recruitment drives, in this respect are often undertaken. To join us you can be 18-80, or even older, male or female, although it does help to have some across the board music knowledge and a caring nature. (training can start at age 17 1/2 as by the time you have completed the training period and are elected to membership you will be close to your 18th birthday)
Hospital Radio Norwich is held in the highest regard by the management of the NHS Foundation Trust but is ever eager to improve its service to help patients get well very soon.
PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to support Work Experience requests.
If after reading this you feel you would like to be involved, please contact us at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or write to us at –
Hospital Radio Norwich
Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation  Trust
West Annex 1,
Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital,
Colney Lane,
Tel: 01603-454 585