Radio Harrow was born out of two existing radio stations that had similar interests and goals, who shared not just a passion to help others but a crossover in membership as well.
RNP was a charity run by volunteers to provide a patient visiting and 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 collect requests and provided a personalised radio programme through a daily Request Show.
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 station of choice for patients, regularly beating rivals such as the BBC Radio 2 and Capital FM.
HCR was a not for profit community radio station setup in 2010 to engage with those who lived and worked in the local community. It acted as a platform for the community to have a voice, which may not have otherwise been heard.
In the five years of its existence it created firm ties with Harrow Council, businesses, community & charity groups and educational institutions to become the go to platform for hosting community events and summer schemes.
It ran a full 28 day Restricted Service License, broadcasting over FM alongside the Internet. It soon created a following with loyal members and in 2014 founder Keith Chilvers won the prestigious award of Outstanding Contribution at the Harrow Hero Awards, held by Harrow council.
With RNP wanting to have a more community focus after the breakdown of the bedside entertainment system and with HCR wanting to have better facilities, a larger membership base and ties within Healthcare, in 2015 they decided to come together.
With the guidance and support from the Hospital Broadcasting Association and the Charity Commission, a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation was set up. Assets from both organisations we merged, with the station being rebranded under the new name of Radio Harrow.
In order for the merger to be complete, support was sought from the NHS Trust and a large vote of confidence was garnered 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, and continues to broadcast from its studios in Northwick Park Hospital.
Radio Harrow 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 organisations to make a positive difference to the area we serve and help make it a friendly and enjoyable place to live.
The objectives of the charity are:
1. The relief of sickness, poor health and old age amongst people living in the London Boroughs of Brent, Harrow and Ealing by providing a local broadcasting service for hospitals, residential homes and similar institutions, and for patients receiving community care; and
2. The advancement of health and prevention or relief of sickness for the public benefit through the promotion of the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, and the importance of maintaining good personal mental and physical health by (mainly, but not exclusively) the means of broadcasting health education messages to people living in the London Boroughs of Brent, Harrow and Ealing.
Radio Harrow is open to anyone to apply to become a member and we encourage you to get involved today!
Don’t just take our word for it, hear what our volunteers have to say below: