Volunteer of the Month - Lee Tait
We don't do April Fool's at Radio Royal, we're all far too serious (as if...), but we do welcome a new month by introducing you to another one of our superstar volunteers! This month the needle swings round to our new Chairman Lee Tait!
When did you join Radio Royal?
April 2011 and it was love at first sight!
Tell us a little more about what you do at the station?
At the last AGM I was elected to be Radio Royal’s Chairperson for 2019/20. It’s a role I’m very proud and privileged to be in – even if the shoes I have to occupy are big ones. Both previous Chairs in my time at the station (Andrew Morley and Jim Prentice) led Radio Royal with distinction. I’m still figuring out what I’m supposed to do as Chair but so far it’s involved holding regular meetings to make sure that everyone else is doing all the work! I can definitely do that…
For the previous four years I was our Fundraising Manager and I’m really proud of how we organised ourselves to raise £85,000 to completely modernise our studio facilities. This whole process showed what a team effort Radio Royal is, with everyone from presenters and ward visitors to Executive Committee members and our Sessional Development Worker (at the time) working towards transforming the station’s broadcast facilities.
At the same time I was also Presentation & Production Manager so basically, anything that went wrong with the programme schedule was almost certainly my fault!
You’ll hear me presenting the 80s show, Solid Gold on Monday afternoon at 5pm and what often turn out to be some very lively Late Night Love Songs at 11pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Why did you decide to volunteer?
I first volunteered at hospital radio in 1983 as a fourteen-year old, keen to get into radio. Hospital radio is an excellent place to learn about how it all works while you develop the skills you need to make your mark.
Mind you, having done that, I promptly went off and did other things after a couple of years before, more than a quarter of a century later, I completed the online application form and joined Radio Royal. It wasn’t just about presenting a radio show either. The “older” me had more of an appreciation of the benefits of giving your time freely to a worthwhile cause. It’s very important to me that the station is organised and well-resourced so members can make the most of their time volunteering at Radio Royal – and thus, meet our objectives as a charity, which are all about supporting people in hospital.
What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering in hospital radio?
Go for it!
There are so many things you can do at the station. Maybe you want to be face-to-face with our listeners by going ward visiting, or present a programme, or keep the station software and hardware ticking over, or plan fundraising activities? There’s a growing body of evidence to show how therapeutic hospital radio can be, and the positive effect it can have on patients, staff and visitors. Maybe you would like to contribute to that?
It all starts when you fill out the application form or send us a message.
Oh, and we are also a pretty friendly bunch and occasionally, we have very good nights out!