What happens when a charity with limited income faces disaster? The effects can be astronomical, but that was the immediate concern whilst wading in an inch of water last week.
I’ve mentioned before about my love for Hospital Radio and last week me and my co-host were both running late for our show. It doesn’t happen often, but on this occasion we were. With just 15 minutes before we were due on air, it would be a very quick dash in and get sorted. Thankfully, a lot of pre-production work had already taken place at home.
Our dismay when we got the door open made us realise immediately that there would be no show that day. Water was pouring in from the ceiling, soaking into the carpets, but also into much of our electrical equipment. It seemed we were doomed. In the chaos, we were able to contact Estates who came to the rescue and managed to turn the burst pipe off, and had the calm voices of our Publicity and Programme Manager’s on the other end of the phone.
Sadly, despite our best efforts, we didn’t save a lot of our media (CD’s and vinyl) as a) we couldn’t get to them and b) the building was deemed too unsafe to remain inside. Electrics were shut down and Radio Cherwell fell silent, save for the steady heartbeat drip from the record library. It seemed that we were doomed, and only a few weeks before we started celebrating our Golden Anniversary.
Volunteers were able to gain access the next day and the future didn’t look great. We had been trying for several years to move location, but faced many difficulties. And then a miracle occurred and as if by magic a different location on site was found. It needed, and still needs work, but a small army of volunteers, have now spent a week since we got the keys on Monday, unplugging metres of cable, chopping down desks, and moving all of the equipment across the hospital site.
It will still take some time before we can begin to be fully operational again but progress is currently much quicker than we ever thought it would be and several local businesses have dropped everything to support us too to ensure that woodwork is made to fit, partition walls are created, and aerials work again. Whilst some equipment has sadly been lost, it seems that we will once again be that friend at the bedside that our patients so keenly need in aiding their recovery. Perhaps this will be a Christmas present for them?
One thing’s for sure, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of everybody who has managed to play even a small part (just making the tea has helped) in getting us to where we currently are.
If you think you can support us in any way, please contact us via the website:- www.radiocherwell.com. You’ll find updates will be put on there as and when things develop further. Or check out our Facebook page.