RECOGNITION FOR ANGUS HOSPITAL RADIO SERVICE

RADIO North Angus has been presented with a certificate and crystal ornament to mark the organisation gaining the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service earlier in the year.

The presentation was made by Mrs Georgiana Osborne, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Angus, to Dr Cyril Cohen, honorary president of Radio North Angus at a ceremony in the Meadowbank Inn, Arbroath.

Radio North Angus commenced broadcasting as a closed-circuit hospital broadcasting service at Stracathro Hospital in January 1979, and within the following six years established additional hospital radio stations in Arbroath and Forfar Infirmaries, and fortnightly services at Montrose and Brechin Infirmaries, Whitehills Hospital, Forfar, and Little Cairnie Hospital, Arbroath.

In 1996, RNA was granted permission by the Radio Authority, the radio regulator, to site low-powered FM transmitters at Stracathro and Arbroath Infirmary.

Although designed to serve in-patients, the broadcasts were audible for a two mile radius outwith the establishments, which consequently created a demand for a local radio service for the Arbroath area.

An application for a licence was lodged with the Radio Authority, with the proposal to establish Britain's first health care radio.

There followed a competitive contracting process, resulting in RNA being awarded an Independent Local Radio licence and transmissions commenced in November 1998.

The local radio broadcasts on 96.6FM, operates on a 7 day per week, 24 hours a day basis, and serves a population in excess of 40,000 residents including Arbroath, Carnoustie, and a significant part of the county.

Digital broadcasts are conducted on the Access Channel, principally in the mornings.

The signal is re-broadcast at Brechin Infirmary, Montrose Royal Infirmary on 87.7 FM, and at Stracathro Hospital on 87.7FM.

In addition, services are conducted within dayrooms of Brechin Infirmary Annex, and Little Cairnie Hospital, Arbroath.

Programming is of a unique broad-based music format, with the remit to promote health, welfare, voluntary groups, educational establishments, and the local economy.

RNA is the only purely voluntary Independent Local Radio, and is one of nine organisations in Scotland to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (the equivalent of the MBE) in 2007.