TV's Simon Parkin has officially opened Hospital Radio Basingstoke's new studios, on site at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust Hospital.
ITV weather presenter and former children's TV presenter Simon Parkin was assisted by 9 year old Sophie Hyde, a former long-term patient on the Children's ward and her 7 year old sister, Rebecca, both of whom with their parents have now moved to Lincoln. In addition, Stan Whitcher, Alton's Town Crier, oversaw the proceedings.
HRB had to raise £30,000 to enable the station to continue broadcasting to the patients and staff at the Hospital; as the previous tiny, run-down studios did not accommodate all the new members and new technology.
Members of the charity, all of whom are volunteers, undertook various fundraising tasks to generate the funds required for the new studios – including taking part in a 60-hour non-stop broadcast marathon day and night, taking part in a swimathon, and by attending local events. These, together with grants, and the extreme generosity of businesses and local people, helped make the dream a reality.
Anna Cheeseman, presenter and committee member of HRB, said "We are extremely proud of our members' successful fundraising, and cannot thank our supporters enough. This time last year it seemed like a pipe-dream, but now we finally have our new, roomy, modern studios. I would especially like to thank our Treasurer and Project Manager, Brian Starman, for his particular hard work and commitment."
The opening was supported by Berry Bros and Rudd's Factory Outlet in Basingstoke who provided the drink and Dayers who provided the food.