Registered Charity No 1068428

  Hospital Radio run by volunteers for the patients, staff and visitors of Halton General Hospital in Runcorn, Cheshire - Registered Charity No 1068428

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  What is hospital radio?     What songs are played?    Top 40 listener requests

How does it help?  smiley relaxing                        Recent Donations - see the About Us page


Market stalls in Runcorn and Widnes

VolsWkLogoPam Eastwood and Derek Gates will both be part of a stall in each of the markets to celebrate Volunteers Week which runs from 1 to 12 June every year... Yes, it is a bumper week, longer than just 7 days!

We'll be in Runcorn market on Tuesday 7 June and Widnes market on Wednesday 8 June between 10 and 1, so if you're shopping or browsing in the market, please stop and say hello.  You might find that volunteering with us is something you can benefit from

100 miles walk

Walkies Dave John DerekOur volunteer Derek Gates successfully completed a 100 mile walk to raise much needed awareness and funds for two local100 miles logo charities:  Radio Halton and St Luke's Care Home in Palacefields.  Along with John Timms and David Timms, the three 'lads' have a combined age of 189, and walked 100 miles along 5 canals in 6 days

They started from Birmingham on Monday 9th May.  Both charities mean a lot to them and you can look at their ambitious journey on Facebook at canal walk and also on Twitter @fivecanalwalk16

Despite difficulties, they made the epic journey through all kinds of weather

WalkRuncornStation WalkMud WalkThumbsUp WalkRearTs WalkHeroes

Mayor and JohnAs they reached the finish on Saturday 14th May at The Brindley in Runcorn, the Mayor of Halton, Cllr Ellen Cargill, was there to welcome and congratulate them

Find out what motivated the lads here, thanks to Barbara Jordan of the Runcorn and Widnes World

They deservedly passed their target to raise £3,000.  See what the current total stands at on the Virgin Money Giving page, where you can still donate to both Radio Halton and St Luke's Care Home in Palacefields, part of Community Integrated Care

Alternatively, to donate just to Radio Halton, follow this link to our Donations section of the About Us page

2016 is our 30th anniversary

30th birthdayAll our volunteers agreed that we should do something special to mark 30 years of hospital radio in Runcorn.  We're having a stall - with prizes on offer - in the hospital on Thursday 14 July between 10 and 2 and are working on getting a celebrity to come to see us.  More details will be posted here, as we get them!

If you have any information about the early days of the station, please let us know.  You can find out how to get in touch on our Contact page

We've already had some newspaper clippings which suggest we have the correct date... thanks to Amy O'Connor, who is applying to join us, and her mum Karen Knowles, who was involved when it all started...

Karen and Cliff    presenters 30yrs ago

... and we're pleased to say we've had an email from Derek Owens, who was involved in the early days of the station - thank you for getting in touch! 

Rumours of his demise are untrue!

When do Radio Halton broadcast?

HeadphonesYou can hear Radio Halton exclusively in Halton General Hospital 24 hours a day, as our broadcasts continue overnight thanks to our Myriad software providing a 'round the clock' schedule.  We include the news on the hour between 10am and 10pm

The hard-wired system feeds to the bedside and the speakers.  We also broadcast within the hospital via streaming on the Trust intranet, so staff in departments can access the service on their workstation computers

Currently, 10 people volunteer their time to provide the service to patients, visitors and staff

We're making more songs available on the playlist so that the same songs don't come round too often.  These are the kind of tunes we're were asked for, but didn't have, so we've put that right:

  • Traveling Wilburys 'Handle with care'

  • Johnny Mathis 'A certain smile'

  • Paul Carrack 'Keep on loving you'

  • Andy Williams 'Happy heart'
          • Rick Astley 'Keep singing' 

What is hospital radio? 

freephone on the wardVolunteer Rob chats to patientOur volunteers visit patients on the wards and chat with them to help them relax. We find out what music they like, then play it for them when we get back to the studio

In between volunteer visits, patients can use the Radio Halton freephone to request a mention or a song to help the time pass more easily

Volunteer Rob chats to a patient

Patients can settle back into bed or an easy chair and relax to favourite music through ...

headset...the bedside headset - it's all technology from more than 40 years ago - no wires involved here, just a pipe into the console on the wall with a volume knob and a channel knob - so it is literally piped music! 

  • Select channel 3 for Radio Halton

  • Select channel 2 for BBC Radio 2 (we've recently improved the sound quality on this channel)

We hope to be able to add BBC Radio Merseyside to another channel soon, depending on the radio signal reception to ensure good quality sound

There are loudspeakers in the outpatient clinic waiting areas and also in Entrance 1 - nearest the busway - to help people relax whilst sitting there

Do you know someone in hospital?  You can find the station that serves their hospital and request a song or send them a message.  Just click on the HBA logo below to go to the site of the organisation for hospital radio in the whole of the UK

HBA logoAre you interested in joining hospital broadcasting?  If so, you can find out what we need people to do on our Join page


The benefits of music in hospitalSwarb at the Brindley 09

Legendary folk musician Dave Swarbrick says, "Hospital radio is a fantastic service, with volunteers giving their time free to entertain patients with music.  When I have been in hospital, which is quite considerable, I have been very glad of it.  As a musician, you don't realise the therapeutic effect it can have until you are receiving it yourself.  Without having music and great friends around me in hospital, I would have been climbing the walls.  Keep up the good work"

Find out more here... Why do we provide music?

Russell WatsonRussell Watson also told how music helped him through illness, when chatting to Ken Bruce in Dec 2010:

"Music helps Ė during the times Iíve been really ill, Iíve listened to a lot of music and I find music incredibly therapeutic.  There were days particularly when I was having the radiotherapy treatment and when I felt really down, and itíd give me a little bit of a lift and a buzz inside"

CompetitionsNCO bassoon

Radio Halton gave away a pair of tickets for the Friday 8 April 2016 concert at St Elphin's Church in Warrington by soloists from the Northern Chamber Orchestra

The programme featured Schubert's Octet, Mozart's Horn Concerto and 20th century composer Jean Francaix's Divertissement, which spotlights the bassoon, played by Llinos Owen - here she is in action on the right >

The winner on Pam Eastwood's programme "In Classical Mood" on Tues 5 April was Julie Shaw from Warrington

Thanks to Kathryn at the NCO for providing the tickets.  Find out more about the orchestra and its players at www.ncorch.co.uk

News - Streaming

We're currently streaming again on the intranet, following an issue with the settings for the output going through the Trust's computer in our office

We enlisted the assistance of our fellow volunteer at Radio General, Keith Inman, who has put together a box of tricks to resolve the issue - thanks Keith!

If you work in the hospital, you can listen on your computer while you work, using Windows Media Player.  Just click File, click Open URL..  and type http://HSD-180A:8080 into the box which will be in the box for next time you want to 'tune in'.  It works best with a pair of computer speakers, which the IT Team have said is fine to plug in, since the speaker in the desktop unit is very basic


  • Clare TealClare Teal came to Runcorn to appear at The Brindley on Friday 22 April and Graham Tarry caught up with her for a chat ahead of the gig.  Clare, along with her trio, showcased the music of Doris Day

  • Tommy TwiggSinger Tommy Twigg came to chat with Derek Gates, ahead of his show in Castlefields on 22 August 2015.  Tommy brought with him a recording of a song called "I fell in love kinda easy", which we played

  • Derek Gates spent some time chatting with Rev Philip Turner, who is the Chaplain at the hospital.  Listen out soon for some "Thought for the Day" short talks from Rev Phil.   Find out more about what chaplains in hospitals offer at http://liverpool.anglican.org/Chaplains-to-Hospitals

Health and Wellbeing Event

Radio Halton volunteers again took part in this event, providing music and information in the Dining Room of Halton General Hospital on Tuesday 23 February 2016 for staff at the Halton site

We made contact with several other organisations, to exchange information and get to know them

Photos here below of Derek Gates, Pam Eastwood and Graham Tarry on the stall.  Mary Hill also helped to run the stall in the morning whilst Graham was on air

HealthAndWellbeing    HealthAndWellbeing

Awareness stall in Halton Hospital - Thursday 10 December 2015SantaHat

Our volunteers held a giveaway stall featuring prizes in time for Christmas

It was in the corridor near the front entrance of Halton Hospital ... there were even some people in red Santa hats.... 

We gave away some great tombola prizes and our popular Radio Halton diaries and pens.  The tombola raised £18.50 and the collection box which Derry Griffiths had contained £154.76.  This has helped us pay for our broadcast licence, which cost £174.00

Hospital Family Fun Day - Sunday 5 July 2015

EllenRadio Halton volunteers were pleased to give visitors a tour of our studio to see behind the scenes of where the music and information comes from - and have a try at presenting on air

Ellen LeBreton from Weston Point joined us to see where the music comes from

Also Kelly Gilbert and Kirsty Gilbert from Grangeway came over with their mum Lorraine Duckworth. KellyKelly sang "Ben" by Michael Jackson for us,

KirstyKirsty read out a what's on item really well

Lorraineand Lorraine chatted on air with volunteer presenter Derek Gates

Mel PickupWe were also pleased to show the Trust's Chief Executive Mel PIckup round the studio and we are grateful for her genuine interest in what we're doing to help patients

It was all part of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's Family Fun Day on Sunday 5 July 2015

People had the chance to look around the operating theatre and other facilities, meet the teams and get some handy health advice from stands in the  Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre, with entertainment from Glenda Hill Theatreworks too

We want to thank everyone for joining in, and a special thanks to those who gave to our collection box, to the tune of £11.91

New Volunteers


Husband and wife team of new volunteers David and Julie Astbury have completed their training with Derek Gates on Monday evenings...
David Astbury Julie Astbury
... look out for them as they visit your ward

There are another 3 potential volunteers going through the recruitment process at the moment, one of whom is awaiting results of the medical questionnaire from Workplace Health and Wellbeing, and awaiting the result of the DBS check

Change the world - or at least Halton!

Our appeal for more volunteers is called "change the world" - we've put it on this page for you to hear - click on the link, then click your back button on your browser to return here

Updated by:            The Webmistress purple spider  25 May 2016

The Webmistress is currently using KompoZer to update the site, IrfanView for image editing and WinSCP to upload the pages


Registered Charity No 1068428