History of Radio Mount Vernon
How it all began...
In 1969 man took that first step on the moon, The Beatles played their last concert and Mount Vernon Hospital launched its own radio station. To the outside world, the significance of this event was nothing compared with those first steps and the beginning of the end of the most successful band ever. However to the staff and patients of Mount Vernon Hospital, it would be the start of a relationship that would bring hours of entertainment to people who would find themselves in situations that without that slight distraction, would make their stay in hospital more than unbearable.

Just as the NHS has developed over the past 47 years, so has Radio Mount Vernon. When Broadcasting first commenced, programmes were relayed from an operating theatre! Operations would take place during the day and then, in the evenings Radio Mount Vernon staff would move in and set up their makeshift studio, only to take it all down again at the end of the evening!

Having established itself as a credible service to both staff and patients, it was deemed necessary to provide Radio Mount Vernon with more suitable accommodation. During the early 1980ís the hospital management offered the radio station a new building. Extensive refurbishment had to take place to make the building compatible with the needs of a functioning radio station. So with hammers and paintbrush in hands, the volunteers of the day set about transforming the mobile building into Fellowship Cottage Studioís.

Members who joined Radio Mount Vernon soon became involved in collecting requests from the patients and fund raising events which along with programming made up the service that helped us broadcast to the patients of the hospital. One of the strengths of Radio Mount Vernon over the years has been to continually try and improve its service to the patients.

In 1985 having fundraised for 18 months the station purchased a new mixer desk for £2,000. The money was raised through sponsored events such as bike rides, walks and car washes. Through this and other purchases of studio equipment, more variety of programmes could be broadcast.

Although programming is obviously an essential part of our service, it does not pay for any hospital station to be too insular in its thinking. To combat this, volunteers from Radio Mount Vernon regularly go out to the wards to visit the patients and collect requests. We also go out and meet the public, making them aware that there is a Radio Mount Vernon. Events that have helped us achieve this include discos, roadshows and shaking cans outside local supermarkets.

By the 1990ís the years had taken their toll on our building and so it was time to find new premises. Very kindly the management at the hospital offered to convert a former staff flat in the Vernon Village into a new studio complex. After months of planning and construction, Radio Mount Vernon started broadcasting from the new building in June 1996.

Although the face of Radio Mount Vernon may have changed over the last 45 years, Iím pleased to say that the commitment and dedication from the members remains the same. The aim of providing that friend for the patients over the radio at the bedside remains the reason why year after year ordinary people will become volunteers at Radio Mount Vernon.