40 years ago, a few people got together to form an organisation which would provide a radio service to the local hospitals in Worcester.
40 years later, that service is still going strong, winning awards and recently celebrated their achievement with a get-together and presentation of long-service awards.
The awards were presented by June Snowden, President of the national Hospital Broadcasting Association to 14 members, all of whom have been with the station for at least 10 years, including founder members Edna Yeates and Ken Skillern. Coincidentally, June is also celebrating 40 years of hospital radio membership and has just completed her aim to visit 40 stations in her 40th year. Also welcomed to the meeting were Penny Venables, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Tim Lloyd from the company which produces the station's magazine.
Although the station started life as Worcester Hospital Radio and broadcasting to the 3 city hospitals at Castle Street, Ronkswood and Newtown, the station re-invented itself as Choice… Radio for the Worcestershire Royal when the new hospital opened in 2002, replacing the 3 original branches.
Since then, we have been broadcasting 24 hours a day to the wards which are fitted with the Hospedia bedside equipment, giving the patients a choice over the BBC monopoly of the other available radio stations and providing something which is truly local and personal.
Our ward visitors regularly go on the wards to chat to patients and collect requests - patients can also contact the station directly and free of charge from their bedside.
The range of programme gets ever broader, with shows covering different decades and styles of music, comedy hours and concerts, plays - even a daily wildlife show.
The latest addition to our schedules is a show called My Choice, where we have spoken to many staff in the hospital as well as volunteers, local and national musicians and celebrities and got them to introduce their own favourite pieces of music. So listeners will maybe hear the voice and musical choice of the very person who is looking after them!
We also interview many local and national personalities, host live music weekly sessions and attend many local events - all these are available to listen to on our website: www.choiceradio.org.uk