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Darent Valley Hospital's Valley Park Radio needs £16,000 to replace old equipment

Some things may get better with age – like wine, scotch and George Clooney – but the same cannot be said for broadcasting equipment.

An award-winning hospital radio station run by volunteers to entertain patients during their stay is in desperate need of new microphones, wires and mixers to keep going.

Valley Park Radio (VPR) started at Joyce Green Hospital in Dartford before moving to Darent Valley Hospital, when it opened in 2001, bringing fresh gear along with it.

Chairman and presenter Phil Royce at the mixing desk
Chairman and presenter Phil Royce at the mixing desk

The equipment has served it well for 16 years, but the station – being live 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – is starting to take its toll.

The station receives no external funding — it is essentially a charity — and chairman and presenter Phil Royce is hoping people will be kind enough to reach into their pockets to help pay for it to keep going.

“It is all completely free for patients, they can listen to us at their bedside and make requests for songs at any time of the day,” he explained.

“We play everything from the 1950s all the way up to the modern day.

“There are 38 of us at the moment and everyone is a volunteer. Some are presenters, others work behind the scenes.

“For me I got involved to give something back to the NHS.”

Some of the volunteers behind the station
Some of the volunteers behind the station

The cost of the new equipment is expected to be upwards of £16,000, which Mr Royce hopes will be raised by an online fundraiser and upcoming events.

First up is a quiz night at the Royal Clarendon Hotel in Gravesend on Saturday, October 28, from 7pm. Tickets are £5 on the door, and teams can be of up to eight people. There will also be food, drink and a raffle.

VPR will also be present at Dartford Lions’ fireworks night in Central Park, Dartford, on Saturday, November 4.

To donate online, visit http://bit.ly/2yoXt9m

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