THE Tunbridge Wells Operatic and Dramatic Society [TWODS] has given £3,300 to Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells [HRTW] from donations taken at its shows.
After accumulating this record-breaking amount for bucket collections, the two artistic causes have come together to form an on-air partnership to promote TWODS’ endeavours.
TWODS nominated HRTW as the benefitting charity for seven highly successful performances of My Fair Lady at the Assembly Hall in November.
The society decided to help the charity after HRTW member David Boyle made a speech at a Christian Men’s Fellowship meeting last year to help raise funds.
TWODS board member Jane Morgan was then invited into the studio to talk about their production of My Fair Lady, along with leading lady Allya Khammari.
The radio station, which took to the airwaves in 1961, broadcasts to bedsides at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury and Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, and is run entirely by volunteers.
Kevin Denman, Chairman of TWODS, said: “Charitable contributions from the proceeds of the society’s productions have always been an important consideration of ours.
We have run after-show collections for many years, but we were astounded by the amount collected.”
He added: “There is a great synergy between ourselves and the charity radio service. We are both dedicated to the arts, and the radio service is also dedicated to its audience – most importantly, to the patients.
“My Fair Lady is always very popular, but we are so pleased at the record-breaking response.
“We can’t thank our audiences enough to help keep this worthwhile volunteer radio service running.”
Hospital Radio Station Manager Chris Manser said: “We are gobsmacked. This is a massive boost for us, and the donation will be used to help us refresh our IT systems, which have not been upgraded for 15 years.
“There is an element of borrowed time with our IT systems, putting us at some risk of being taken off the air.
“In recognition of this fantastic contribution to our cause, we are assigning one of our weekday shows, Sound Spectrum Show from 4-6pm, to TWODS for the next year.
“We will provide on-air information about their productions and create a set of jingles to acknowledge them.”
TWODS, a non-profit organisation and registered charity, is one of the oldest amateur societies in the country, having been formed in 1889.
The next TWODS show is Grease, running from May 15-19 at the Assembly Hall.
For further information, telephone 01892 530613, visit www.twods.org.uk or find them on Facebook @twodslimited
To contact HRTW, visit www.hrtw.org.uk or find them on Facebook @HRTunWells or email: email@example.com