We Take 5 with Radio Horton alumni, Matthew Holroyd to find out what life was like during his tenure at the radio station, and what he’s been up to since.
So, how old were you when you began volunteering at Radio Horton and what first inspired you to get involved?
I began volunteering for Radio Horton when I was sixteen years old, while still at school. I had been looking for voluntary opportunities in my local Banburyshire area and I had known about the Horton Hospital and Radio Horton through family friends.
The idea of hospital radio immediately drew my attention, just to make someone’s stay in care more enjoyable and more bearable. It really is a station that’s good for you!
What did your volunteering role entail?
I first assisted the Radio Horton request collectors, as they visited the wards to speak to the patients and ask them what music they would like to listen to later that day.
I then assisted the amazing Ray Kent in producing and presenting the Friday evening Request Time programme for a number of months, which taught me so much about intonation, and broadcasting in general.
Alongside this, I took part in Outside Broadcasts, both at Banbury United as part of Horton Sport, as well as local music festivals such as BodFest, and of course the Radio Horton Christmas collections.
The best thing about being part of the Radio Horton team was…
The team of volunteers! The radio station, hospital and the community would not be the same without the amazing people who work behind the scenes, and there was always a fantastic atmosphere and sense of togetherness at every event and for every minute on air.
Where are you now, and were you able to utilise any of the skills gained from your voluntary experience?
After completing my university studies in law and journalism, I moved to Lyon, France, to work as a multimedia journalist at Euronews, a pan-European television and digital news channel. I have since progressed through the company and now feature regularly on air as their Social Media Correspondent.
Every time I present, I am reminded of how important it is to speak with a clear voice and annunciation, something that I first developed at Radio Horton. I always remain aware of the audience I am presenting to and have never shied-away from volunteering for extra work or opportunities.
What advice would you give to young people looking towards a career in the media, or to anybody looking to get involved in hospital, health and wellbeing broadcasting?
The best advice I can give to anyone interested in working in the media is simply to volunteer and make as many connections as you can. After graduating from university I applied for well over 100 jobs, placements or grad schemes without success, and I have been very fortunate how one message from a fellow student about opportunities in Lyon has led to me to where I am now.
Once you find a job that you are interested in, keep working at it and volunteer to do more than you are asked, that is how you will impress people and be given more opportunities. A minute before is worth an eternity afterwards, and my parents have also installed in me a sense of self-belief, which is essential too.
Be confident in your ability and strive to achieve as much as you can.
If you are interested in volunteering at a hospital and health and wellbeing broadcasting, my advice is very similar. You won’t know you enjoy something unless you try it, and there is such a range of opportunities available at places like Radio Horton, that can really develop both your skills and your personality.