An in-hospital radio station was created to simply make sick children smile but research has shown the resulting joy has reduced physical pain.
In 1979, an intended one-off project was created to bring a slice of lightness into the Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children in the UK. The joy has since spread via 10,000 volunteers to more than five million children around the world with an in-hospital radio station entertaining sick children through music, competitions and activities.
Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital was the second hospital in the world to host a Radio Lollipop studio in 1985 and post-graduate research there indicated an 82 percent reduction in requests for pain relief medication. Mater’s Children Hospital in Brisbane saw savings of more than $400,000 in drugs following the first year of operating the radio station.
With one in four children under 14 spending time in hospital, the place can seem terrifying with potentially painful treatments and medicine that’s hard to swallow but vital to improving health. Radio Lollipop likes to provide the children with choices and asks them to request their favourite songs and hear their voices on radio.
However, being entirely volunteer-based requires fund-raising to carry on providing the service. This March 15, Radio Lollipop is running Uniform Free Day where schools and workplaces are invited to dress casually and donate to help keep the smiles lighting up the children needing hospital care. If going without a suit is unfathomable in your workplace, keep your eyes peeled for donation points on public transport throughout the Perth CBD.
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