A Year in Review: 2018

It’s that time again where I give you an insight into what I’ve been up-to over the last year, relive moments I’ve forgotten about and share some of my highlights. So grab that cup of tea, sit back, and enjoy.

As always, it’s easier if I split this up into categories, so let’s start with…

The Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA)

I attended many Trustee meetings throughout the year, ensuring the charity is meeting its charitable objectives. We worked with our member stations and their volunteers to produce our Vision and Mission statement and back in March, I attended the organisation’s Annual Conference and Hospital Radio Awards in Windsor.

I was lucky enough to get on the trip to Sky HQ on the Friday, which was thoroughly enjoyable. It’s amazing what happens at that campus, there’s such a nice vibe about the place. It was also great to see how Sky News and Sky News Radio operate. The Conference weekend itself was also enjoyable, it was great to network with other likeminded volunteers and learn and share new skills.

I continue to be editor of the associations On-Air­ magazine and I released Issue 158 of the magazine in March. The magazine relaunched with a complete overhaul. New ways of displaying photographs, main headings, sub headings and body text, overall making for a much more enjoyable read. The magazine continues to highlight the important role hospital radio plays in the community and I’m proud to be editor. The final issue of the year was Issue 161 and we’ve got exciting plans for 2019.

In September, I began launching the new branding for the Hospital Broadcasting Association, a process which is still ongoing as I write this post. We now have a brand-new look and feel, which is more coherent, modern and easy on the eye. I have a great team of volunteers, whom, without their input, the branding and strengthened Communication within the organisation wouldn’t be possible. We’re a great team and I’m proud to volunteer for the HBA and work with some extremely talented and likeminded people.

I worked out that in November 2018, I’ve been involved with the HBA for 5 years. I remember when I first started out at this organisation as a Regional Rep, to become the On-Air editor. Now, I’m the Communications Executive, responsible for the marketing and PR, as well as the On-Air editor.

Radio Cherwell

Radio Cherwell and Radio Horton held a joint meeting to discuss the future of hospital radio in the county back in February. With services at both hospitals changing, being reduced and expanding, it was great to share ideas and experiences with each other. Later that month, Radio Cherwell received a tweet which simply highlighted the importance of hospital radio, even with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music around.

I hosted Radio Cherwell’s flagship news programme, Hospital Newssolo for the first time in April. The programme is a way for the hospitals’ management, staff and charities to tell patients and peers what’s happening across the Trust. 

While in May, I helped set up and run the May Morning PA up Magdalen Tower. This event is truly amazing, and I love seeing Oxford’s skyline from a different perspective every year. The city council estimated around 22,000 people attended the event this year.

Whizzing off to August, I produced Radio Cherwell’s Record Requests programme on Friday nights and hosted the flagship children’s programme The Weekend for Everything Show whilst the main host was away. It was great to host this particular show, given I hosted it for 7 years previously. The warmth you get when a doctor tells you ‘We couldn’t get this child to talk all week, yet you can?’ – and see the big beaming smiles on their faces. This is what hospital radio is all about.

In September, I helped present The Abseil Special for Radio Cherwell, as we supported hundreds of people abseiling down the side of the John Radcliffe Hospital Women’s Centre, raising money for an array of hospital causes. Having done this back in 2010, I wouldn’t do it again, but kudos to those who do and for Oxford Hospitals Charity for running the event.

Personal Stuff

The year has also been a bit of a rollercoaster for me personally. For a good few months, my mental health wasn’t all that great, but with the help of friends, family and Oxfordshire’s TalkingSpace, I feel somewhat back on track now. It’s actually pretty hard for me to write this little bit, not because it’s embarrassing, but because not many people know what I’ve been going through. It took me forever to open up, it was tough, but I’m really glad I did. I still get my down days, but they’re much less than they were before. I don’t know what caused it, but I suspect everything was building up, possibly since my collapse in 2017.

Having been through it, if you are struggling, I can’t stress the importance of speaking up. Equally, I know it’s difficult, so do it when you feel the time is right for you. Again, thank you to all my friends, family (especially my other half who saw me at my worst) and everyone who has supported me with this over the last year.

Oxford Bus Company launched their Pick Me Upservice  in June– effectively an on-demand ride sharing scheme. I booked myself on one on the first day and it ran like a dream. Needless to say, still continue to use the service to this day. It’s grown in popularity and the company continue to invest in vehicles and drivers. Hopefully they’ll extend the coverage area in 2019.

The Summer was the best ever. It was great to spend time with family, watching England do pretty good in the World Cup. I don’t do football, but this event really brought our family together. Many BBQ’s, shouting at the TV and general good times. 

My other half got her Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care and I couldn’t be prouder of her. She’s worked extremely hard to get it and hopefully 2019 holds great things for her and us.

Overall…

A busy year, but I wouldn’t change a thing. The above is merely a snapshot of the year based on Facebook posts and what I can remember myself. I should probably write little notes or update things at least once a month, but time just gets in the way sometimes. 

What does 2019 hold? More work with my lovely clients, letting those creative juices flow, but equally more time with friends and family.

Whatever your New Year entails, make it a good one. As always, if you need a hand with your marketing, design, PR or anything creative, just get in touch.

Friday 28th December 2018

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