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Radio Tyneside upgrade studio with a little help from the Canford Community Fund

Radio Tyneside's Richard Finch showing Stephen Gallagher the new mixing desk Radio Tyneside's Richard Finch shows Stephen Gallagher the new studio equipment

We’re really pleased to report that Radio Tyneside, a multi-award winning hospital radio broadcaster has been able to upgrade its studio equipment with support from the Canford Audio Community Foundation Fund. Established in 1998, the Canford Audio Fund was created to provide much needed financial support to local charities and help improve people’s well-being. Its purpose is to provide for audio equipment to help people with disabilities, to support community arts and is particularly focused on helping children.

Canford’s Community Foundation Fund has supported several charitable organisations around the North East region since it was formed. Accessing the Community Foundation grants via application process, the fund has helped local drama clubs acquire lighting and audio equipment, it has also supported young people at community theatres and provided much needed communication aids for school children with disabilities.

The latest beneficiary of the Canford Audio Fund was Newcastle based, Radio Tyneside. Established in 1951, Radio Tyneside is operated by a group of 35 volunteers who give up their free time to provide radio services for patients of Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, Freeman and Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospitals.

The station has recently received high accolade on the national stage, picking up a total of five honours awarded by the Hospital Broadcasting Association. The station was recognised for its passion for the local area and its community work, claiming top spot and being named “Best in the UK”. The service also won Gold for Best Special Event for coverage of the 2016 Great North Run and Best Special Music Programme for the Geordie Hour. HBA judges also gave praise to presenter Max Fosh who picked up a Best Newcomer Gold award.

Richard Finch, Radio Tyneside’s Station Director and Treasurer commented: “The trustees were delighted when they received the fantastic news that the request had been approved and that funds were to be provided from the Canford Audio Fund. The funding will allow us to replace our existing studio mixing desk and will enable us to continue to provide a quality service to patients in Newcastle and Gateshead hospitals for many years to come”.

Canford Marketing Manager, Stephen Gallagher added: "I was thrilled to discover that the Canford Audio Fund had been able to support Richard and his team at Radio Tyneside. People probably wouldn't know, but Canford has a particularly strong personal relationship with radio broadcasting. Canford was formed by CEO Iain Elliott who, in the 70's, was an engineer at Metro Radio in Newcastle, one of the first commercial radio stations in the UK. When Iain missed out on a promotion opportunity he decided to create a business that would specialise in the manufacture and supply of studio essentials. A one-stop-shop that would make the life of broadcast engineers a little easier, in a time well before the Internet and Google. Canford was established in 1976 and was then quite literally a one man and his dog operation. The rest is history as they say. When I received the annual Impact Report from the Community Foundation, and read that we'd been able to help our local hospital broadcasters I thought to myself – That’s absolutely brilliant!”

Radio Tyneside have already put the money to good use, buying a new Sonifex mixing desk which has improved reliability and leaves the station volunteers to concentrate on producing the very best radio shows possible, through a service which is on par with professional broadcasters.

Hospital patients can listen to Radio Tyneside via Hospedia, the hospital bedside entertainment system. Radio Tyneside is also available on 1575 AM in the hospital community and online via streaming service.

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