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19 February 2024: Sunderland Echo Article.

The studio video Echo reporter Katy Wheeler visited our studio as we celebrate 70 years on air and launch an appeal for volunteers.
"Radio Sunderland for Hospitals chairman Bill Bowes has been broadcasting for 52 years.
A radio enthusiast, he started at the charity in his 20s and soon found he could combine his love of radio with providing a rewarding service for patients.
"I often say public and commercial radio is like wallpaper radio. People have it on in the background when they're driving and if their favourite song comes on their ears prick up," he said. "But in hospital, people put their headphones on to block out and listen. With Ward Call, we can speak directly to them, and tell their story."
Over the years, he's been joined by many volunteers and the current group spans many age ranges from a teenager to broadcasters in their 70s."

Link to the full article: Sunderland Echo : The video is from


November 2023: Ward Call - 3 Days a week

On Air “Ward Call” is now on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday evenings at 8 o’clock and repeated at 2am and 2pm!
For patients listening in the Sunderland Royal Hospital we’ll play any song.
To make a request, simply go to our website and click on the “ Request Form” link and we’ll do the rest!
Link: Request Form

Photo by Fringer Cat on Unsplash


July 2023: Ward Call is Back On Air

Something to shout about Something to shout about!!
After almost two years for waiting due to COVID and the relocation of our studio, we were excited to welcome the long awaited return to our Monday night schedule of our ever-popular "Ward Call" programme.
Our small team of dedicated volunteers work together to produce an hour of patient's record requests and dedications that come from the wards of Sunderland Royal Hospital.

To make a request to be included in a future edition of the programme, simply fill in a few details on our bespoke Google request form.
Listen out on Monday at 8pm and for the repeats of the programme at 2am & 2pm the following day.
Link: Request Form


23 April 2023: Thornholme Residents Association Donation

Thornholme Residents Association The donation came from Thornholme Residents Association after their members were asked for suggestions of charities to make a donation to.
Resident Judith Bartlam, wife of Radio Sunderland member Michael Bartlam, put together an excellent case as to why we should be considered and submitted it to the Chairman.
We were awarded £175, which was gratefully received.
The cheque was presented at an association meeting along with another given to The Samaritans.
Photo: Chairman, Mr Paul Baker (on the left) and Michael Bartlam (on the right).


March 2023: Commuity Chest Grant.

27 inch touck monitor and headphones Sunderland City Council Community Chest Grant It was the 16th September 2021 when we vacated our home of 33 years in the Monkwearmouth Hospital due to the demolition of our studio.
Since then we have been able to maintain limited services while waiting for our new studio to be refurbished.
The new studio is kindly being provided by the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and housed in the Children’s Centre.
The exciting news is we have now commenced the fit out of the studio and hope to broadcast live from there soon.
Chairman Bill Bowes said how much he and the team were looking forward to having a permanent home once again.
We have been able to purchase a touch screen PC monitor, 6 pairs of professional headphones and some accessories for the new studio.
We were able to do this courtesy of the Sunderland City Council Community Chest grant of £937 and would like to thank Sunderland City Council, the local councillors and for the support of the West Area Committee.


26 Febriary 2023: Easy Fundraising.

Support us through easyfundraising! We’ve registered Radio Sunderland with easyfundraising, this means over 7,000 brands will now donate to us for FREE every time you use easyfundraising to shop with them.
These donations will help SO MUCH, so please sign up – it’s completely FREE and doesn’t take long.
These donations really mount up, so please sign up to support us.

You can find out how here on our "Support Us page.


26 December 2022: Boxing Day Dip – Seaburn.

PA on the Prom Crowd gathering on the beach Christmas once more!
Time for the return of the Seaburn Boxing Day Dip and this year were on the prom with our PA to cheer on the dippers.
The crowds gathered under a lovely blue sky to give support to those who scampered across the beach and ventured in to the waves on a perfect morning for a refreshing dip!
Our thanks to the Funky Beach Cafe for kindly giving up space and power for our equipment.


10 December 2022: Store Collection – Morrisons Seaburn.

Our first outing since December 2019 and we visited our old friends at Seaburn Morrisons on what was a bitterly cold and frosty day, with loads of festive music playing in the foyer.
Thank you, to the customers and staff for supporting us.
Your generosity and friendly help was very much appreciated.
£246 was raised, which helps towards the cost of our day-to-day expenses.

(All contributions are very welcome. Donate).


January 2022: Studio Relocation

Sunderland Children's Centre We start 2022 waiting for building modifications to start on our new studio, which is kindly being provided by the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and will be located at the Children’s Centre.
An asbestos survey is required before work can commence on rewiring and redecoration ahead of the installation of our studio equipment.
Meanwhile, we continue to provide a limited service direct to the wards and online from a “virtual” studio at the Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Update: From 5pm on 16th January regular news bulletins were reintroduced, thanks to assistance from colleagues at Prince Bishops Hospital Radio.


December 2021: Christmas Schedule

Merry Christmas This time of year is a special time. A time to gather with loved ones. To be thankful for what we have. And to enjoy the little things that help make the festive season. Fabulous food, decorations, mulled wine, presents and of course good music!
We have managed to put together a festive schedule of programmes with a feast of musical cheer, including some classic comedy that we hope everyone will enjoy.
The closure of our studio at Monkwearmouth Hospital at short notice in September was a major blow. However, a temporary virtual studio in the basement of Sunderland Royal Hospital has enabled us to maintain a music and entertainment service for the patients.
Space has been allocated for a new studio, but it will be several months before we can resume live broadcasts. So we are looking forward to a return to normal service sometime in 2022.
We at Radio Sunderland hope that all is as good as can be expected with you during these extra ordinary times and that you get the opportunity enjoy the celebrations over Christmas and New Year.


September 2021: 33 years at Monkwearmouth Hospital ends

Monkwearmouth Hospital The building that housed our studio since August 1988 at Monkwearmouth Hospital has been scheduled for demolition.
At noon on 16th Sept 2021 we ceased broadcasting from our studios at Monkwearmouth and we were off-air until a temporary “virtual studio” was commissioned in the basement of Sunderland Royal Hospital.
After 5 hrs we were back on-line but restricted to broadcasting a temporary music program.
The rest of our equipment was put into storage until a new premanent home could be found.
On Monday 20th at 4:12pm a full schedule of programmes (excluding football commentary and Sky News) was reintroduced with live programmes being replaced with programmes from our archive.
The audio feed to the Royal Hospital was re-established at 1pm on Tuesday the 21st.

Link: Visit the programmes page


July 2021: Radio Player

Play button Unfortunately our pop-out radio player has an intermittent fault when used in some web browsers. This is also affecting the on-page play control.
As the Internet can be a dangerous place, modern Internet browsers can be very protective when accessing data that is off the current page.
This is the case with our links to our on-line stream provider.
Please try clearing your browser cache.
This may also be cured by changing browser settings for the sites you trust.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this caused.
How to clear your browser cache and cookies
How to access Internet browser settings
Update: hopefully now fixed!


4 July 2021: Prince Charles on Radio Sunderland

Prince of Wales Music and Memories His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales recorded a special programme to say thank you to volunteers of hospital, health and well-being radio stations for their work in keeping communities connected and patients entertained during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Music & Memories with HRH The Prince of Wales" broadcast on Radio Sunderland for Hospitals to patients in the Sunderland Royal Hospital and on-line on Sunday 4th July 2021 at 12:00 noon and repeated at 8pm and again at 2am and 2pm on Monday 5th.
The programme features some of The Prince’s favourite tracks, from artists including The Three Degrees; Diana Ross; Barbara Streisand and Edith Piaf to name but a few.


June 2021: Supporting Us with AmazonSmile

Support us AmazonSmile is a simple, automatic way for anyone shopping at Amazon to support us at no extra cost to them.
So were asking Amazon customers to sign up to AmazonSmile.
When Amazon customers select Radio Sunderland as their charity and shop through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% from eligible purchases to us.
Simply follow the link below to register.
If you sign up to AmazonSmile you will receive a welcome email.
The email helpfully suggests that you create a bookmark in your browser so that you remember to shop at !
Service now closed.


June 2020: Bobby Dazzler – from our Archive.

Bobby Dazzeler at Crowtree Since 1953 we have been involved in many events in and around Sunderland.
Sadly, only a fraction of what we have done over the years has been documented.
We also have no record of either the original 1960's set up at what was then the General Hospital or the later Hylton Road block studios.
Can you add to our archives?
Visit our Archive page for more details.


May 2020: Caring for Carers.

Gyles Brandreth - Waffle TV (cropped to square) Tune in to our new health and wellbeing series “Caring for Carers" with features supporting the carers and cared for presented by the well known TV and Radio personality Gyles Brandreth.
Daily following the news at 12 & 5pm
This ground breaking series will feature stories and experiences carers are having to deal with at this very difficult time through the COVID-19 crisis, with advice, information and support.

Our local support group is the Sunderland Carers Centre: Tel. 0191 549 3768


Sunday 17 May 2020: James Blunt – The Greatest Hour.

Photo - Festival de Cornouaille 2011 - James Blunt en concert le 19 juillet - 024 Singer-songwriter, James Blunt produced a radio programme exclusively Hospital Radio, entitled The Greatest Hour.
The former reconnaissance officer in the Life Guards regiment of the British Army doing his bit to lift the spirits of those suffering from coronavirus, by hosting a "cheerful" hospital radio show.
The show broadcast at 8pm (repeated at 2am & 2pm) included a mixture of feel-good music intertwined with messages of gratitude to those working in the frontlines.


18 March 2020: Coronavirus Our Responce.

Covid 19 We at Radio Sunderland are following the government’s advice about non-essential travel, and social distancing.
The Royal Hospital has suspend all visiting except for exceptional circumstances and advised us to suspend our ward visiting service.
To protect the health and safety of our volunteers, regrettably this means that we are unable to broadcast our full schedule of programmes.
As a result of the measures we are taking, unfortunately for the time being we are unable to play patients record requests.
Being a hospital based service, we are sure you will understand why we have reached this decision.
Please be assured that as soon as it is practical to do so, we will return to normal service.
In the meantime, we hope that listens will continue to enjoy listening to the rest of our programmes.


21 December 2019: Store Collection – Morrisons Seaburn

Morrisons December Collection An early Christmas present.
It was a dreary winter's day, but bright lights and our jolly Christmas music playing in the foyer brought out the festive cheer as customers stocked up for a seasonal feast.
Some of our volunteers were on hand with buckets at the ready to collect the small change so generously given by the shoppers.
So, it's a huge thank you for your continued support and to the management and staff for their help and for once again allowing us to do some fund raising in their store.
The final total raised was a lovely £447 that will help us to continue to provide our free radio service.
On behalf of the patients in the Sunderland Royal Hospital, thank you so much and a very Happy Christmas to you.
Morrisons Seaburn


15 December 2019: Store Collection – Sainsburys Silksworth.

Sainsburys Another store collection raising funds to help keep us on the air.
We enjoyed a day mingling and chatting with the Christmas shoppers at Sainsbury's Silksworth.
It was a busy day and customers proved to be extremely generous, helping us raise an impressive £353.
Many thanks to everyone that donated and of course, a big thank you to the management and staff for their usual, friendly welcome! Sainsburys Silksworth


8 December 2019: Public address at St. Benedict's Hospice

Light Up A Life St Benedict’s Hospice switched on their lights at the annual Light Up A Life remembrance and carol service on Sunday afternoon.
We were present as usual with our PA equipment, so this means that Christmas is now not very far away!
There was a bitterly cold wind blowing, however, this year the large crowd warmed to the excellent festive performance provided by the Rock Choir.
St Benedict's Hospice, Ryhope


December 8th, 15th, 21st and Boxing Day.

Established In 1953 Look out for us somewhere near you very soon.
Pop in and see us that Silksworth Sainsburys on the 15th and Seaburn Morrisons on the 21st.
We will also be taking our Public Address equipment to St. Benedict's at Ryhope and The Boxing Day Dip at Seaburn
We hope you will come along and say hello.


30 November 2019: Store Collection – ASDA Grangetown.

Bucket Collection Once again Radio Sunderland volunteers were fundraising at the ASDA Superstore in Grangetown.
We raised a very useful £100, so once again we must say thank you so much to ASDA's lovely customers for your continued support and to the management and staff for allowing us to carry out some fund raising in their store.
ASDA Superstore in Grangetown


24 August 2019: Store Collection – ASDA Grangetown.

ASDA A warm and sunny Bank Holiday weekend and Radio Sunderland volunteers were fundraising at the ASDA Superstore in Grangetown.
So, it's a big thank you to ASDA's lovely customers for your continued support and to the management and staff for once again allowing us to do some fund raising in their store.
The final total raised was a nice £127.

If you are wondering how you might help and support us, just visit our Support Page


15 June 2019: Store Collection – Sainsburys Silksworth.

Sainsburys Another store collection and some of our volunteers were in-store raising funds to help keep us on the air.
We chatted to some lovely people and there were some who said they might like to come an visit our studios.
We can’t wait for them to drop us an email and then come a long to one of our open evenings to find out how they can get involved.
Many thanks to everyone that contributed and to the management and staff of Sainsburys, who's customers proved to be extremely generous, helping us raise an impressive £345


11 June 2019: Donate via Facebook.

Facebook logo We are pleased to announce that you can now make donations to Radio Sunderland for Hospitals via our Facebook page.
As we are an entirely self-funded voluntary organisation, run by a happy bunch of unpaid volunteers in their spare time, we rely on the generosity of individuals.
Because of the support given over many years, we have been able to provide a radio and ward visiting service to patients in Sunderland hospitals since 1953.
If you would like to know how to get involved visit our “Join Us" page.


26 May 2019: Sport Scene – Wembley Stadium.

Photo title We’ve been to Wembley again!
Our second ever trip in 65 years and both within the same year!
The photo shows the smiley faces of Sean and Mark just before the kick off as they get ready for another live commentary.
But it was sad faces after Charlton won the League 1 play-off final by scoring in the last minute of the game, beating Sunderland AFC 2-1.
Meanwhile as the clock ticked towards the full time whistle, Bill, who was in the studio was resigning himself to being late home for his tea again!
Maybe we will get a win next time we go to Wembley.
Anyway, the result means that come August we will once again be broadcasting live commentary of League 1 games direct from the Stadium of Light to patients in the Sunderland Royal Hospital.


24 May 2019: Sunderland Theatre Group

Sunderland Theatre Group Ian, Matt and Nathan from the Sunderland Theatre Group (seen here with our own Sean and Pauline) visited our studios.
They were Pauline's guests on "Lunch Box" when she chatted to them about their roles as Judas, Jesus and Pontious Pilate, in the forthcoming production of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
There are four performance of the show that runs from the Thursday 30th May until Saturday 1st June at Sunderland’s Royalty Theatre. For tickets check out the Royalty Theatre website for details.


"New Day Dawning" - Programme News.

Photo title A new programme has been added to our programme schedule.
Every Sunday morning at 7:30 you can tune in to “New Day Dawning", which features a range of songs not only from Christian musicians, but from many contemporary artists too.
The programme is hosted by Sheila Hamil who invites you to join her for a half hour of uplifting songs, well-known hymns, inspirational readings and reflections from the Bible.
You can listen to “New Day Dawning" in the Sunderland Royal Hospital for free using the bedside entertainment units or via one of the links on our listen page.
Sheila has her own website and Facebook page.
You can also listen again to some of her broadcasts online at


28 April 2019: Morrisons – Seaburn.

Morrisons Seaburn Springtime in Seaburn and a big thank you to the management and staff of Morrisons, for once again letting us to take over the store foyer and for allowing us carry out a bucket collection.
On behalf of the patients in the Sunderland Royal Hospital, we would like to say thank you to customers who so generously gave us a donation, which goes to support the cost of providing our free radio service.
A total of £311 was raised!


31 March 2019: Sport Scene – Wembley Stadium.

Jamie and Sean ready to broadcast Radio Sunderland's first outside broadcast live from London worked a treat with a great commentary from Wembley provided by Jamie McLean and Sean Terry to the patients in Sunderland Royal Hospital for the Checkatrade Trophy Final. Sunderland AFC v Portsmouth FC.
Unfortunately Sunderland lost out on silverware in the agony of a penalty shootout (lost 5-4) after drawing 2-2 at the end of extra time.



31 March 2019: Sport Scene – Wembley Stadium.

Meadia Area at Wembley Congratulations to Sunderland AFC who have booked a place in the Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium.
With all of the Club’s allocated tickets sold out, there will be over 40,000 red and white fans descending on the Capital to cheer on Jack Ross and his players.
The brilliant news is that our very own football commentary team have secured seats in the stadium's media area, and this will allow us for the first time in our 66 year history to do a live outside broadcast direct from Wembley - a big achievement for a hospital radio station!
For the occasion we are planning a special edition of our “Sports Scene" programme starting at 2 o'clock, and will be broadcast exclusively to the patients in the Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Though the magic of digital technology we will be able to bring all the atmosphere and action live from Wembley from kick-off until the final score.
(Sorry, but our licence does not allow broadcasting the commentary to those listening online via our website).


Circa 1972: Stadios at Havelock Hospital.

Havelock Hospital Studio c1972 Studio at Havelock Hospital c1972 Here are a couple of photos from our very small archive, with thanks to former member Richard Lawrence and his personal collection.

Formed in 1953 as the “Commentators Association”. By 1968 had we become "Sunderland Hospitals Broadcasts", broadcasting regular programmes from the old General Hospital on Thursday and Friday evenings to eight hospitals that were spread right across the town.
This was followed by a move to our first permanent studio, which was based in an old ward at the Havelock Hospital on Hylton Road (Pictured circa 1972).
Studio equipment was begged and borrowed, Tyne Tees Television being a major benefactor donating some of their old surplus equipment.
Due to the enthusiasm and expertise of the then members, the old hospital ward was converted into a fully equipped radio studio.
The photo shows how it looked in circa 1972 before a major refit a year later.
This was to be our home until we relocated in 1978 to a new studio in the Hylton Road Block, in what back then was known as the District General Hospital (now Sunderland Royal).

If anyone has any old photos, recordings or a story to tell we’d love to hear from you. Contact Us
We don't have any photos of our studio from our time in the Hylton Road Block!



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