The winning nomination wrote:
Community-spirited, enthusiastic, hardworking, and helpful to us and other hospital radios, Paul is one of Winchester Radio's Trustees, and our Chief Engineer. He has a degree in Electronic Engineering, and has worked in electronics/IT all his life, currently as a self-employed technical trainer/consultant.
During 36 years volunteering at Winchester Radio, Paul has led the design, building and commissioning of all four sets of our studios. He has also been a Trustee of the charity for 29 years.
As part of the latest studio rebuild, Paul designed and built audio equipment (distribution amplifiers, routing switchers, silence detectors, etc) at a cost of less than £600, saving us around £8,000 compared to commercially-available units. He now makes these units available at cost to other hospital and community radio stations.
Paul has always offered support to other stations, starting by hosting a bulletin board in pre-internet days. He took weekly trips to Hospital Radio Basingstoke for 6 months in 2000 after fire burnt down their studios, and in September 2021 he responded to an urgent plea for help from Gosport Hospital Radio, driving to their studios, effecting a temporary fix whilst taking equipment home for repair.
Since the launch of our health and wellbeing community radio service, Paul has continued to enhance the capabilities and resilience of our technical systems, resolving issues even at unsocial hours – sometimes remotely, sometimes on-site at the studio.
We have almost fully-redundant computer systems and audio switches that failover from one to the other, email a number of us when the silence detectors operate, and if silence is detected from one of the playout computers email us a screenshot and then reboot the computer.
Paul also regularly contributes to our broadcasts: recording and editing local community events, voicing public service announcements, and presenting shows.
This is despite the fact that, in recent years prior to the pandemic, Paul was regularly travelling both nationally and internationally with work. If we have a computer problem, Paul is always available to remotely-access the studios over one of the VPNs that he has set-up.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, Paul quickly enabled remote broadcasting capabilities, and delivered a combination of new and existing audio equipment to our volunteers to allow them to continue to broadcast, from home, and dealt admirably with the many support queries that this caused.
Paul Blitz is quite simply one of life's "Unsung Heroes". He never makes a fuss or seeks recognition – just gets on with whatever needs doing. He has, and continues to make, a real impact at Winchester Radio. We are hugely appreciative to Paul for all he does.
Congratulations to Paul Blitz, Winchester Radio