Radio Harrow is a charity situated in the London Boroughs of Brent, Harrow and Ealing. The radio station focuses on health and wellbeing for the local communities.
It was created in April 2015 by combining two local broadcasters; Radio Northwick Park, a hospital radio station with nearly 45 years experience of broadcasting and visiting patients of Northwick Park Hospital NHS Trust; and Harrow Community Radio, a not for profit community radio station specialising in community broadcasting via the Internet and FM waveband. The two organisations have worked in partnership over a number of years in the lead up to the creation of Radio Harrow, sharing broadcasts, volunteers, as well as Trustees and Directors. In September 2015, Radio Harrow also merged with Ward Radio, Ealing Hospital’s former broadcasting service, as part of a longer term ambition to extend our services across the entire London North West Healthcare Trust.
Now combined, the new organisation has 150 volunteers, two state of the art studios, a production area, equipment to enable it to broadcast via the Internet and FM waveband and the ability to produce outside broadcasts from anywhere within the London Boroughs of Brent, Harrow and Ealing.
The radio station engages with the general public by broadcasting a mix of local and regional information, which relates to the health and wellbeing of the local community and helps people shape their local area. It also provides a voice for local residents and organisation groups to make a positive difference to the community we serve and help make it a friendly and enjoyable place to live.
The objectives of the charity are:
Radio Harrow is open to anyone to apply to become a member and we encourage you to get involved today!
Radio Harrow was born out of two existing radio stations that had similar interests and goals and shared not just a passion to help others but a crossover in membership as well.
Radio Northwick Park (RNP) was a charity run by volunteers to provide patient visiting and a broadcast entertainment service to the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust. In the 44 years of its existence it grew in strength and became one of the first hospital radio stations in the UK to broadcast 24 hours a day and online. The volunteers visited over 15,000 patients a year to help make their stay in hospital as comfortable and enjoyable as it can be and then broadcast back personalised shows in the form of a daily request show, alongside their regular broadcasting, aimed at entertaining the patients.
RNP was originally founded by a group of volunteers from the Jewish Youth Voluntary Service, who set up a hospital radio service at Harrow Hospital on Roxeth Hill. With no room for a permanent studio, programmes were only broadcast on Sundays and volunteers installed and dismantled the equipment weekly. In 1971 a permanent studio was built in the basement of the new Northwick Park Hospital and RNP went on air in April 1971. During their existence they regularly became the radio of choice for patients to listen to, beating rivals such as BBC Radio and London commercial stations.
Harrow Community Radio (HCR) was a not for profit community radio station setup in 2010 to engage with those who live and work in the local community. It acted as a platform for the community to have a voice, which may not otherwise have been heard.
In the five years of its existence it created firm ties with the local authority, businesses, community, charity groups and educational institutions, to become the go to people to host community events and summer schemes. It ran a full 28 day Restricted Service License, broadcasting over FM and not just via the Internet. It soon created a following and loyal members and in 2014 founder Keith Chilvers won the prestigious award of Outstanding Contribution at the Harrow Hero Awards, held by the local council.
With RNP wanting to have a more community focus after the breakdown of internal radio systems and with HCR wanting to have better facilities, a larger membership base and ties within Healthcare, in 2015 they decided to come together.
Rebranding under the new name of Radio Harrow, with the guidance and support from the Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA) and the Charity Commission, a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) was setup and assets from both existing organisations were merged. We got further support from the NHS Trust and soon after got a large vote of confidence from the membership of both radio stations. The founding members are Matt Blank, Keith Chilvers and Ben Hart.
Radio Harrow opened its doors officially on 19th April 2015.