Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells has launched an appeal to “Save Our Service” to try and raise additional funds to enable the service to continue. Since 2011 when the old Kent & Sussex Hospital closed and the charity lost its studio space the team have been running their service from rented accommodation, this has almost doubled the running costs, due to pay for rent, electricity and other costs which were previously covered by the NHS due to having their studios in the hospital.
Despite efforts by the volunteers to increase their fundraising there has been a shortfall of about £3000 a year for the past 5 years, up to now this has been covered by using savings the charity had built up in the years prior to the old hospital closing. However these savings are now rapidly running out and unless additional funding can be found the charity will need to give up the lease on the premises they now occupy in September 2017.
The team are busy arranging a Big SOS Broadcast which will take place over the Christmas & New Year period. They are planning to broadcast LIVE shows for 100 hours and try to get it sponsored. The broadcast will be available online via the charity’s website, and also on the Tune In App starting at 12 noon on December 28th until 4pm on January 1st 2017. Other HR stations are invited to contact the team and join in with messages of support. Please call 01892 528 528 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a link up during the event.
The team plan to use social media to reach out to the local community and will be adopting the hashtag #HRTWSOS to create more interest.
Station Manager Chris Manser explained; “This event is possibly our last opportunity to raise the extra income we need to keep going, the service has been running for 55 years and while the team of volunteers remain enthusiastic the mountain we have been climbing to increase the income from around £5000 a year in 2011 to about £12000 now has been very challenging but we remain determined to try and keep going”.