10:16AM, Friday 12 October 2018
A community radio station which has broadcast at Wexham Park Hospital for about 50 years has been told to leave its studio by the start of November.
Radio Wexham has been playing music, passing messages from loved ones and keeping spirits high at Wexham Park Hospital since 1967.
The station started life as Radio Upton at Upton Hospital a few years prior to its move to Wexham.
On Wednesday, October 3, volunteers who work for the station were given a month’s notice to vacate the room they use to make way for hospital development.
“Obviously it’s extremely upsetting for us,” said volunteer Kevin Hyland, who stayed at the station after volunteering there as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award, aged 16.
The 45-year-old from Slough says the station was preparing to go online, which would have allowed it to broadcast to people’s homes and across East Berkshire NHS sites.
The relaunch would also have meant listeners could request tracks for their loved ones in hospital even if they could not be there in person.
“We are the only company that some people in the hospital wards have had. Not everyone has visitors,” said Kevin.
“It’s been shown many times in the past that actually music is a way to assist with healing.”
The station, whose mascot is the Wexham Wolf, had already spent about £1,500 on new equipment in preparation for going online and was days away from spending a further £2,500 before it was given the news.
Radio Wexham is appealing to individuals or organisations which can provide a room to host them.
The room must be 100-200 square foot and have a power supply, phone line, broadband connection and 24-hour access.
It should ideally be within a four-mile radius of Slough. Contact radiowexham@ gmail.com to help.
A statement from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Wexham Park Hospital, said: "Radio Wexham has provided a great service to our patients and we really appreciate their hard work over a number of years.
"The station has been off air for about 18 months and we have been working with them to find a new location where they can begin broadcasting to our patients once more.
"Unfortunately the space currently occupied by Radio Wexham on one of our main corridors is needed so that we can continue to make improvements to the hospital environment. We look forward to continuing our discussions to resolve the issues soon."
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