Grantham Hospital’s dedicated radio station, Radio Witham, re-launched on Saturday 19th April at 10:30am, and saw the opening of the stations new relocated studio.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trusts’ Facilities Department informed Radio Witham in early 2013 that a former seminar room had become available as a possible new home for the station. Radio Witham’s management team, Ray Oliver, Steve Caddy, and Howard Newport, accepted this generous offer to move from its aging portacabin accommodation.
Volunteer coordinator, Ray Oliver, who presents a request show every Monday, said “We had been looking to move for several years, and this was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. We knew we had to move, and this was our best opportunity.”
Station engineer, Steve Caddy, who has been with the station since 1994, said “We discovered an old broadcast mixing console for sale in Newark, so we approached the seller, who sold us quite a lot of equipment. Broadcasting has changed in the time I’ve been with Radio Witham and with new digital technology becoming available, we decided to replace a lot of the old kit during the move.”
The move has taken several months to complete, with volunteers giving their time to help the station move furniture and equipment, and gear up for a new station sound as the station settles into its new home.
“This was the perfect time for the station to launch a new sound,” commented station manager, Howard Newport, who has been working in radio for ten years. “We have had a fantastic set of new jingles sung, and new computer play out software installed. We’re also launching a new logo to refresh our visual image. We’re really pleased with the new look and sound; it’s really brought the station forward.”
Mr Oliver added, “We are sure that the patients and staff will love the new professional sound to the station. All the volunteers are looking forward to presenting their shows with our refreshed look.”
“A huge thank-you goes to the League of Friends of Grantham Hospital, all the staff who have helped with the move, and to the presenters who have been so supportive with the relocation. We’d also like to add thanks to RAF Cranwell Craft and Gift Shop, who donated £500 which has paid for the stations new playout computer” Mr Caddy said.
“We are delighted that Radio Witham has relocated to it’s new home. The amount of hard work undertaken in making the move possible cannot be overstated and the new studio will be a lasting testament to the dedicated enthusiasm of the volunteers in the radio team, who have helped develop the scope of our charity”, said Simon Needham, Chairman of the League of Friends of Grantham Hospital.
On the day, presenters past and present where joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of Grantham, Cllr Frank and Christina Turner, along with Deputy Mayor and Gravity FM presenter Ian Selby.
Around 40 guests attended the opening, with the Mayor offically opening the station on air to the hospital by saying "Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers at the hospital and Radio Witham for all the hard work in building your new facility." The station then officially launched its new sound with a “Twelve Hour Music Marathon” with a selection of presenters hosting two hours shows playing requests from patients along with the stations new jingles created by Ignite Jingles.
“The re-launch sounds like the end of the project. But really, it’s just the start of another exciting chapter with new possibilities and better programmes. We are always looking for volunteers to help with all sorts of jobs from sorting music, collecting requests from patients, and presenting programmes.” Mr Newport said.
If you would like to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find the station on Facebook and Twitter.