A charity radio station in Stoke Mandeville has received a huge grant to help patients battle loneliness and isolation due to the ongoing pandemic.

Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio, which formed in 1978, welcomed a £22,500 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, with the money enabling the SMHR volunteers to continue helping patients and staff connected with the outside world.

READ MORE: Husband and wife team praised for over 50 years of volunteering at hospital

Due to coronavirus, some patients have suffered from loneliness due to the restrictions in not allowing them to see friends and family.

Simon Daniels, chairman of Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio, said: “As soon as the lockdown was announced, due to Covid-19, we had to change the way we operated but wanted to ensure we could still provide the radio service to the patients and staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Bucks Free Press:

Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio's chairman, Simon Daniels

“We identified how we could produce programmes from some of our members’ homes and get them onto the radio.

“With no visitors being allowed, the hospital patients really appreciate having a radio by their bedside to hear music they want and get messages from loved ones read out on the air.

“We applied to The National Lottery for a grant to be able to purchase additional equipment and radios and were thrilled that The National Lottery would be supporting our service.

READ MORE: NHS workers thanked with huge road marking outside Bucks-based hospital

“Thank you to National Lottery players.”

According to a report commissioned by the Hospital Broadcasting Association, hospital radio stations across the country have a positive impact on patient and staff wellbeing through reducing loneliness, anxiety and boredom, and increasing health and wellbeing awareness.

Bucks Free Press:

Radio presenter Mike Oxlade, broadcasting a show from his home

And with SMHR acting as that platform within the hospital, the station will aim to share messages of love and hope from the friends and families of patients and staff while they are staying or working in the hospital and unable to contact them.

Helen Bushell, head of funding for South East of England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The strength we’re seeing in communities across the South East of England is inspiring.

“Although we’re beginning to see lockdown restrictions ease, community organisations – big and small – are still grappling with the impact caused by the crisis.

READ MORE: Club correspondent at prestigious community group to step down

“National Lottery funding is life-changing for projects like Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio in keeping their communities connected and reaching those who need the most help.

“Our priority is to continue getting funding, which is more vital than ever before, out to community groups so they can rebuild and recover from this pandemic.”

To read more about Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio, got to www.smhr.co.uk.