Friendly Geordies prove they are the best medicine

Patients in Newcastle and Gateshead hospitals are receiving some of the best entertainment in the country after ward broadcasting service Radio Tyneside was recognised as Station of the Year at a national ceremony.

The volunteer-ran radio station that’s been broadcasting to the Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, Freeman and Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospitals for over 65 years won a total of five accolades and was judged to be the best in the UK after beating all other competitors to the top honour at the National Hospital Radio Awards held in Bolton.

The station which has its studios next to Newcastle’s RVI Hospital was praised by the judges as being ‘firmly entrenched’ in the local community with the passion for the local area shining through, one judge went on to say that he felt the station was the most diverse and high-quality in UK and a special mention was made for the variety of the programming on offer.

The broadcasting service, which has over 40 volunteers, also won Gold for Best Special Event for their coverage of the Great North Run, Best Specialist Music programme for The Geordie Hour, which was commended for its great presentational style in local dialect, and judges also give praise for presenter Max Fosh who picked up a Gold in the Best Newcomer category.

A Bronze award was given to the station, which was formed out of an idea in 1950 by six Newcastle United fans who wanted to broadcast match commentaries to the RVI , for Best Programme with Multiple Presenters for its show celebrating the 65 years it’s been entertaining patients and staff.

Radio Tyneside Chairman, Dave Nicholson MBE, said: “It’s a real privilege to be part of a team of volunteers that is producing award-winning, professional programmes easily matching that of any commercial station in the country. The great atmosphere and teamwork in the studios is clearly coming across on air and we’re so proud to be voted the best in the country."

"Our presenters give up their free time to entertain and keep company those who unfortunately have to spend some time in hospital, we all know the big difference a friendly local voice and some favourite songs can have during what can sometimes be quite a lonely and anxious time in a hospital bed. It’s fantastic to come away with some awards that recognise the contributions all our members make in helping patients on their journey to recovery."