PATIENTS at the Royal Blackburn Hospital can now listen to radio on the wards 24 hours a day, thanks to investment by hospital volunteers.

Radio Hospitals Blackburn has been broadcasting around hospitals in the town for more than 40 years, but until now has been limited to live broadcasts when volunteer presenters are available.

Thanks to a cash boost continuous broadcast of recorded music and chat, even when the station is unmanned, is set to start.

This is due to £5,200 worth of new technology, paid for by a £3,500 from the hospital's league of voluntary workers and investment from Radio Hospitals.

But the station has been left with only one problem: it needs more presenters to fill the time.

At the moment, it is broadcasting randomly-selected music and jingles before switching to live evening broadcasts, but it is hoped that more volunteers will come forward to take part and present programmes during the day.

Dave Peacock-Seddon, chairman of Radio Hospitals Blackburn and DJs on the service, said: "We are going to ask previous members to come back and take advantage of the more flexible hours, but we always need new volunteers, and especially so now.

"We have always done live shows in the evenings, but now we have the facilities, we can record programmes for during the day and people will still be able to hear a local voice on the radio.

"Obviously we need presenters, but we also always need other volunteers to take care of the production side, and we definitely need more request collectors - people to go round the wards and ask patients what songs they want to hear - we only have one at the moment.

"It's open to anyone with a bit of time to spare. If people need training we can do that in the evenings, and then they can work whenever they have time.

"It's brilliant to be able to be on the air constantly. It will let us provide a service which can reach out and let patients know that there are people out there who care for them."

To find out more about becoming a volunteer, call the Radio Hospitals Blackburn office on 01254 736885.