SUPPORTERS of Winchester's community radio station Winchester Radio gathered at a restaurant for coffee and cake to celebrate 55 years of a hospital radio service in the city. 

Hospital Radio first started at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester in October 1968 and the service, then, as now, was delivered by a caring and dedicated team of volunteers.

Originally the hospital radio service in Winchester for inpatients at the RHCH was provided by the then Southampton and Winchester Broadcasting Service but since September 1984, it has been provided by charity Winchester Radio and its volunteers. 

Ahead of Winchester Radio’s own 40th anniversary next year, the station held a fundraising coffee morning at Rick Stein, Winchester on Wednesday, October 11. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Radio supporters at Rick Stein Winchester Radio supporters at Rick Stein (Image: Kimberley Barber)

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The event raised £498, including donations from some supporters who could not make it on the day.

Chair of Winchester Radio, Anna O’Brien said: “It was great to get together and celebrate the fact that unpaid volunteers through their unstinting commitment, time and efforts have provided a local hospital radio service here in Winchester continually for 55 years.

"We are very grateful to Rick Stein Winchester for providing us with such a beautiful venue to celebrate this special anniversary of volunteer effort supporting patients, and to the organisations/businesses who supported us with raffle prizes too (Rick Stein, The Ivy, The University of Winchester, Chococo, Hilliers, Cook and Waitrose).

"We have some incredibly dedicated and passionate volunteers who work hard 365 days a year to deliver our Winchester Radio service to the local community including to patients within the Royal Hampshire Hospital, which is where our charity is based.

"The team care enormously about supporting those who are poorly, vulnerable or may be feeling isolated or lonely."

Volunteers were thanked on the day for their dedication. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Winchester Radio volunteers Winchester Radio volunteers (Image: Kimberley Barber)

Anna added: "Good volunteers are priceless! As someone who has always championed grassroots smaller charities for all the work they do supporting communities – I think it is really important not to take the services they provide for granted.

"Small charities like ours, face lots of challenges every year and need support from donors, be they individuals, businesses, or larger organisations, to keep doing the good they do and survive. Otherwise, you’ll wake up one day, and find that these services are just no longer here anymore.”

If you would like to give a donation, to support Winchester Radio’s service go to