Be an Angel and help out vital radio station

LIFELINE Tony Smith, the founder of Angel Radio, in the studio in Market Parade
LIFELINE Tony Smith, the founder of Angel Radio, in the studio in Market Parade
From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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ANGEL Radio is a lifeline to older people, giving them not only exactly the sort of music they want to hear but vital advice.

But in order for the nostalgia music station, based in Market Parade, Havant, to carry on its work, funds are needed.

The station – which is a registered charity – reaches 50,000 people in the local area and many thousands more around the world over the internet.

But founder Tony Smith has admitted money is tight and it needs all the help it can get.

He said: ‘We’re always getting by, by the skin of our teeth.

‘Last week I got a bank statement saying we had £9,600 in the bank and in the same post I had a bill for £9,000 for the hire of five radio transmitters.

‘It’s getting harder to get funding as the majority of it is going to sport projects.

‘We could do with a nice philanthropist or philanthropic company prepared to sponsor us.’

There are a number of projects in the pipeline that can only go ahead if they get the funding.

The first is to put together CDs and DVDs for care homes giving ideas on how to keep older people entertained – including quizzes, puzzles, sing-alongs and reminiscences.

The second idea that Tony wants to take forward is a daily five-minute programme to help listeners look after their money.

He said: ‘There would be somebody talking about money management, how to claim pension credit, avoid doorstep callers, and telephone scams – anything that helps older people hang on to their money and make wiser choices.

‘But a five-minute radio programme costs about £100 to produce and we don’t have that sort of money at the moment.’

He added: ‘Our aerial was hit by lightning once and we were off air for three days.

‘I got a letter from a listener saying she now knew what it was like to have her life support machine switched off. That’s how vital the station is to older people.’

The station is hosting a ‘pay to play’ day on September 25 where listeners can phone in and request a song in return for a donation.

Following an appeal in The News on Saturday many volunteers have come forward offering to lend a hand behind the scenes.

The station, which has been on air since 2002, only plays music made before 1960. It can be found at 101.1FM and goes out 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To donate, call in to the radio station or send a cheque made out to the charity at 17 Market Parade, Havant, PO9 1PY or call (023) 9248 1988.