New era as Hospital Radio Yare moves into James Paget studio

It was the start of a new era for a hospital radio station yesterday as it marked its official homecoming.

Since the early 1970s Hospital Radio Yare has been based in a portable building at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth.

The James Paget University Hospital at nearby Gorleston opened in the early 1980s and, thanks to technology, patients could listen to the station, with music and entertainment providing comfort for those who are ill and away from home.

The radio station yesterday officially unveiled its new studio at the James Paget Hospital, bringing it closer to the patients they have been broadcasting to for many years.

Hospital Radio Yare vice- chairman Clive Jermany said he was thrilled with the new base near the hospital's Burrage Centre.

The station has between 35 and 40 volunteers including broadcasters, fundraisers and engineers and programmes include requests shows, news and local sport on a Saturday.

Mr Jermany said: 'Our main aim is the wellbeing of the patients and every day we put out a request show for two hours in the evening and that is repeated in the morning. One of our most listened to times is midnight and the early hours of the morning.

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'The way we look at it is that this hospital covers a big area from Southwold up to Sea Palling and Acle. If you are an elderly person you might not get any visitors, so to get somebody on the ward who is not hospital based to have a chat to them or if we can play a piece of music for them this might make them feel more valued.

'We have moved all the equipment here and the Paget has been very helpful with vans. We have only been off air for three days but we are back on air now and will be live from the middle of the month.'

Wendy Slaney, chief executive of the James Paget University Hospital, said: 'We have a very long and happy association with Radio Yare and it is such an important thing for patientss. They can make requests and get to know the broadcasters and the people associated with it.

'The personal touch is really beneficial when you are in hospital. As individuals this group of people has tremendous enthusiasm. They are so committed and determined to improve people's lives while they are in hospital and we recognise and appreciate that.'