Volunteer to help!
Giving your time, skills and creativity can make an amazing difference to people in hospital.
What We Do
The aim of Chippenham Hospital Radio is to provide a quality radio service which entertains and informs patients by enhancing their stay in hospital through the provision of request-based programmes and local information.
Our output is distributed around the hospital via wi-fi radios and can also be heard on-line via our website.
Our output around the hospital is heard by over 2,500 local people a month, made up of those on the wards, those who use the hospitals outpatient services and staff.
Formed in 1982, the radio station went on-air in 1983 and became a registered charity in 1985. Everyone involved is a volunteer.
Members receive a comprehensive training programme before broadcasting, contributing to the high quality of the service.
Chippenham Hospital Radio output is primarily based on Adult-oriented pop music (classics & current) and talk. Rap, heavy metal, heavy rock and some dance music is not part of the stations output.
The service is widely recognised by healthcare professionals to contribute to the care package provided by hospitals, providing a comfort to those who are in hospital.
The charity is a member of the Hospital Broadcasting Association.
Presenting a Radio Programme
Our live radio programmes are broadcast weekday evenings and at the weekend from our modern studio based within the hospital. When we're not live we run an automated service which provides listeners with music and news.
Most of our programmes are two hours long, with our presenters producing both speech and music programmes that entertain patients, often providing a link to the outside world with news and community information.
Those volunteers who wish to present a programme are fully trained both on the technical side and presentation skills by an ex-broadcaster. With these skills we provide a great foundation so volunteers can feel confident that they can deliver programmes that are both enjoyable and entertaining for both themselves and the listener.
If you are presenting a programme you will be encouraged to attend regularly on the day and time agreed for your show.
Help us visit patients on the wards
Those volunteers who don't wish to broadcast can still play a vital role in what we do.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of our work is visiting the hospital wards to collect requests and dedications. However, it's not always about the music - sometimes patients, some of whom have very few visitors from family & friends can feel lonely and vulnerable and just want someone to have a chat with.
This element of personal contact is especially important for those who are anxious about their time in hospital.
We appreciate that this takes a very special type of person, and welcome and support anyone wishing to offer their services to do this.
Running a radio station isn't cheap and we need to annually raise money to cover bills and running costs.
We are totally financially dependent on the fund-raising activities of our volunteers and benefactors. The radio station receives no other regular income.
Volunteers are asked to support our fundraising events which are organised generally three or four times a year and consist of tin shakes, providing public address and music at local events, and sponsored broadcast marathons.
We have also been generously supported over the years by a number of local organisations including the Buffalo's, the Lions, Rotary, Freemasons, Chippenham Borough Lands Charity, the Chippenham League of Friends and Chippenham Council.
The questions we hear most often.
Why do people volunteer?
There are many reasons why people choose to get involved. Here are just a few:
- Make a difference to patients stay in hospital
- Do something inspiring
- Learn new skills
- Meet new people.
Who can volunteer?
There's an opportunity for almost everyone who shares our values and vision!
We have volunteers who are retired, employed, old and young who come from a variety of backgrounds.
Please note, unlike a lot of voluntary and charitable groups being a broadcasting organisation means we do ask our volunteers who are presenting a programme to make a regular weekly commitment to us.
NB: You must be 18 or over to apply and unfortunately we can't accept applications for Work Experience or Placements.
Do you offer training to volunteers?
We want to provide the best service we can to our listeners so those wishing to broadcast with us undertake a comprehensive broadcasting course which provides training on the technical aspects of a radio studio as well as programme production and what you can and can't do and say on-air.
For those volunteers wanting to visit patients on the wards our team will provide full support and training.
We also provide health & safety training to ensure that volunteers are able to carry out their tasks in a safe way.
We ensure there is someone available if you need additional help and there is often further training to help volunteers develop in their role.
How much time do I have to give?
Generally for those who are broadcasting it's 2 hours per week, although many of our presenters spend additional time preparing programme content.
For those who wish to ward visit, this can be done at any time, although the hospital ask us to avoid meal times.
In addition when helping with fund raising we ask volunteers to give up a couple of hours periodically to assist with fund raising. Usually this is undertaken three to four times a year and takes place at the weekend.
What skills do I need to volunteer?
This will depend on what you do. If you are interested in broadcasting then a love of music and the ability to communicate effectively are desirable but not essential as where possible, we'll help you develop them.
If you're visiting patients then communication skills are essential, as is the ability to show compassion and empathy.
Often though, enthusiasm is the most important skill required.
Can I get involved with additional work as well as broadcasting or ward visiting?
We're always keen for volunteers to help out in other areas and this could include helping out at outside broadcasts, promoting the radio station or taking on a position on our management team.
Will volunteering affect my benefits?
Volunteering does not affect the benefit payments you receive.
Volunteers are not paid for their time.
People claiming Job Seekers' Allowance (JSA) can volunteer as long as they remain available for work and are actively seeking paid employment.
People claiming Income Support and/or Disability Living Allowance can volunteer.
People claiming Incapacity Benefit can volunteer for as long as they want. The rule that people receiving Incapacity Benefit could only volunteer for 16 hours a week no longer exists. Volunteering does not affect your "permitted work".
Will it cost me anything to volunteer?
Like many groups and organisations we ask that volunteers support the radio station by contributing to the running costs via a yearly subscription which is currently £25. For new volunteers this is payable on completion of training and then annually in June.
If this is a concern for you please contact us, as we may be able to offer some options for payment.
As we are based within the Hospital we require volunteers to provide 2 referees, neither of which can be a member of your family.
Any information supplied will be treated in confidence and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
If you're not sure who can act as a referee for you or don't have anyone suitable please contact us as we may be able to offer some options.
So, still interested?
The next step is to complete an application form and you can request this by calling 01249 456419. Please note there is an answer phone in operation when we're not at the radio station, so please leave your details and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Alternatively you can fill in the form below, or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.