Four S5 pupils from Grange Academy have been busy making waves – radio waves – presenting a fantastic new show for HBSA, Crosshouse hospital’s popular radio station.
Kalum Hair, Kelsie Stoker, Kailin Walker and Jamie Robb all signed up to HBSA to develop their skills and boost their career hopes after they have left school, as well as offering something a little different to the station.
Kalum hopes to go into film directing, Kelsie is hoping to be a writer and journalist, Kailin is aspiring to politics and journalism and Jamie would love to be a marine biologist.
Mark Fisher Program Controller at HBSA Radio Crosshouse, who also helped train the pupils said: “We were delighted when the pupils expressed an interest in joining us and they took to radio very naturally.
“They all have and have amazing confidence and it’s fantastic to see them making the most of this opportunity.
“At the same time it gives us a voice from that age group which we didn’t have before. They’ve come up with great content, have become very popular in the hospital and in a short space of time have become valuable addition to our broadcasting schedule.”
Kelsie added: “We’ve been playing music to appeal to people of all ages from Neil Diamond to Rita Ora and we try to be natural in our presenting style.
We don’t always plan every last detail and have conversations about whatever comes to us. We’re all friendly with each other and that makes it easier – it’s not awkward or uncomfortable.
“If there are any technical difficulties, it’s a laugh rather than a stress.
“An example was the time we introduced the wrong song title! We didn’t panic – we just joked about it with the listeners after the song it and made it into a talking point. I’m really enjoying it – it’s good fun.”
Kailin said: “As well as music and chat, we’ve been talking about our favourite TV programmes and movies and making recommendations about what to watch – we thought this might be nice for the people in hospital who might want something to distract them.
Kallum added: “Mark Fisher has been brilliant. We trained with him before we went live with our own show and he was really approachable, funny and nice.
“He taught us to cue up songs, find them on the system, because there are thousands of songs, use the mixing board and lots of other things, treating us like adults, giving us total responsibility for the show and content.
Jamie said: “Everyone we’ve met at the station has been amazing and so encouraging towards us.
“Just before we are due to go live, we join Rod at the end of his show and listen to him finishing up. He really helps to get us ready to hit the airwaves.
“It’s brilliant as our friends and families have been texting in requests for shout outs and song requests – they’re proud of us and we love what we are doing!”
Presented and managed entirely by volunteers, HBSA has been broadcasting since the early 1970s, when programmes were recorded onto reel to reel tape machines and then physically taken to the hospitals to be played to the patients.
These days the station is equipped with modern digital facilities providing music and chat 24hrs a day within Crosshouse Hospital and the Ayrshire Maternity Unit.
The station also welcomes visits from school groups, which should be booked through the contact pages on their website, where you can also listen live at: www.hbsaradio.com
Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning said: “Kalum, Kailin, Kelsie and Jamie are doing a fantastic job of keeping patients, visitors and staff entertained at Crosshouse while getting some superb skills and experiences at the same time.
“Their blend of chat and music and the laid back approach they’ve have taken is a real hit with listeners and I’d encourage other pupils and schools to follow their lead and explore different ways of volunteering and making a real difference for others in the community.”