Filling In Her Request Sheet For The Final Time
The time has come for one of the most valued members of Radio Skerne to visit the wards for the final time.
Ward visitor, Lilian Gay, has decided to put pen to paper and fill in her final request sheet.
After years of loyal service to not only Radio Skerne, but also the patients of Darlington Memorial Hospital, she has decided to go into retirement.
In view of her efforts, Radio Skerne made one of their most valuable assets a life-member of the station.
As well as being recognised from within the station, Lilian also won a prestigious award from the Hospital Broadcasting Association (HBA).
The request collector won the category of "Hospital Radio's Oldest Active Volunteer" in the 2001 BT Hospital Radio Awards.
Lilian has been with the station for more than ten years. She visited the wards on a Monday afternoon to chat to the patients and collect their requests.
In fact, Lilian was so adept at collecting selections, as Mike Smith, the Monday night presenter remarked: "There were times that I simply couldn't get all the requests played within the two-hours of the show.
"I can't remember the number of times I've had to extend the show past 10pm in order to play the requests that Lilian has collected."
A sprightly Lillian described herself on her original application form as: "77 - but at least ten years younger!!"
Frank Benson, Chairman, said: "Although she's a life-long member of the station, she will be sorely missed by our volunteers. I'm also sure that the patients and staff will miss her visits to the wards.
"The whole team here at Radio Skerne would like to pass on our thanks for all the work that Lilian has done for our station. Lilian has been a valuable asset and we wish her well in her retirement."
Talking about her award from the HBA, Mr Benson recalled the time when they thought about putting her name forward: "We felt Lillian was a worthy contender for this award when we nominated her, and of course we were delighted when she was announced as the National Winner. I'm only sorry we don't have more like Lillian as she puts many of our younger members to shame."
Lillian barely missed a single week of fulfilling her duties - even when she suffered from a bout of pneumonia.
Radio Skerne is always on the look out for mature volunteers.
If you are interested in joining and can commit regularly to a minimum of two hours per week, please contact the Volunteer Liaison Officer at the studio address
PLEASE NOTE - STRICTLY NO UNDER 18's - Hospital rules and insurance do not allow this.