Last night I was on the late slot presenting Harrogate Hospital Radio, and what an excellent evening.
I was co host with Ian Wighton playing the requests we had collected from the wards earlier in the day, and it was a lot of fun. In addition to the music, we talked about my Volunteering Week – what it is and what I hope it will achieve. Ian has been volunteering at HHR for nearly 35 years, which is a wonderful achievement and deserving recognition.
Volunteering at hospital radio stations like Harrogate’s isn’t just beneficial to those who listen, it is also a great way for anyone interested in broadcasting and journalism to gain experience.
After spending time at the station it is evident how essential it is that people volunteer at organisations like this to keep them running. There are hundreds of hospital radio stations across the UK, meaning that thousands of volunteers are needed to keep them running.
Those who already volunteer across the UK can feel rightly proud of the part they play in bringing music to so many people, patients and staff, helping to take the mind off what can often be a very stressful environment.
If you would like to help at Harrogate Hospital Radio or any hospital radio station across the UK, follow these links:
I have just finished my first stint at Harrogate Hospital Radio, where I have been collecting requests for tonight’s show.
There was a range of requests, from Nickelback to the sound track to the new John Lewis Christmas advert and there was even a request dedicated to a ward nurse who is getting married on Friday.
It is clear from talking to patients that the radio station has many listeners, and plenty were excited to get their requests played on the show. Really positive stuff.
The work of the ‘request collector’, as it says on the t-shirts they wear, is an important one because it gives people in the hospital a boost to hear a piece of music that is significant to them at a time when they are probably not feeling at their best. They also value meeting someone someone with a warm, friendly face who has taken the time to talk to them.
I also spent a bit of time in the studio trying to find the songs that were requested and some were easier to find than others. The station has a new system being installed, and the money for this was raised by the Dieting DJs, Scott Wall and Shaun Gill, who have lost over seven stone between them and were generously sponsored for the weight they lost.
A wonderful start to Volunteer Week! Follifoot Disabled Riders Group offer opportunities for people with disabilities of all ages to ride a horse in a very supportive and friendly environment.
I was helping with two groups of riders, pre-school and adults. It was possible to see just how much people were enjoying their rides, and whilst that is great, the benefits of the riding are more profound.
It was therapy, but without it seeming to be so. Some of the volunteers have backgrounds in healthcare, and that added to what the Group could achieve, but the key point was a lovely team doing great work and adding significantly to the quality of life for many disabled people in our community.
Talking to the mums and dads of the pre-school riders provided a real insight. They told me how much their children enjoyed their rides, that it was a highlight of the week for them and how it had helped with development. Balance, muscle development and confidence had all improved, plus for children with autism it had had a calming effect.
Some of the volunteers told me they had helped there for many years, some for only a few months, but the Group was always looking for more helpers.
For more information on Follifoot Disabled Riders Group please click here.
I’m looking forward to my Volunteer Week in my constituency which starts tomorrow.
Everything is all set for my first day, where I will be starting at 9am at the Follifoot Disabled Riders Group– guiding rides and then going to Harrogate Hospital to collect requests and present on their radio station.
On Friday night I am also at the Volunteering Oscars in Harrogate which fits nicely with my week, paying tribute to people in the area who give up their time to help others.
There will be plenty of daily updates on here so register in the right hand column to get notifications when I post.
Next week I will be commencing my annual Volunteer Week and I am really looking forward to it. It is a great opportunity for me to meet some amazing people in the community who give up their time to help others, and to make people aware of the important work they do.
The thing with volunteering is that many of the benefits often go unsung – the good you do for others tends to eclipse the good it does for you. Wherever you volunteer, whether you are delivering meals to the elderly, guiding disabled riders on a horse trek or helping at a library, the personal rewards are invaluable.
This year I have plenty on to keep me busy, I’m looking forward to helping at many different organisations including the Harrogate Citizens Advice Bureau, Scope UK, Harrogate Park Run and even presenting on Harrogate Hospital Radio.
You can follow my activities throughout the week on Twitter @AndrewJonesMP and I will be updating my blog daily. You can also sign up in the right-hand margin to get notifications of when I post.
Hello and welcome to my Volunteer Week 2012 Blog.
Following the success of my 2010 and 2011 Volunteer Weeks I am looking forward to making this year’s just as beneficial to me and the charities and organisations that I will be helping as possible.
This site will allow you to follow me throughout the week as I experience how each of the different charities and organisations benefit our society. By clicking on the tabs you can learn more about each of the charities and voluntary organisations where I will be volunteering as well as my day to day plan of the week.
Once Volunteer Week 2012 has started I will update this blog with my experiences from the voluntary roles I will be occupying throughout the week. I will also be uploading photos into the gallery so that you can see exactly what kind of work I will have been doing for the charities and voluntary organisation.
I hope you enjoy following my progress during the week and I would welcome any comments you may have about the work I did or the charities and organisations I visited.
If you would like to see my blog on the 2011 Volunteer Week please click on this link.
Andrew Jones MP