RSGB: Get on the air to care

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An RSGB/NHS Initiative for World Amateur Radio Day

RSGB launches campaign in partnership with the NHS to ease social isolation amongst radio amateurs

In these challenging times when there are growing concerns about the effects of social isolation on people living in lockdown, ‘Get on the air to care’ encourages the 75,000 radio amateurs across the UK – as part of the 3,000,000 worldwide – to use their radio licences to chat and support each other across the airwaves. Paul Devlin, of the NHS England Emergency Care Improvement Support Team, said: “Get on the air to care’ (#GOTA2C) is designed to promote the emotional health and wellbeing of licensed radio amateurs and short-wave listeners across the UK. Now, more than ever, we need to optimise all modes of communication to help reduce loneliness and isolation within communities. Amateur radio provides a wonderful, unprecedented opportunity to help make this a reality”.

World Amateur Radio Day on Saturday 18 April celebrates this innovative, global community –amateur radio is the only technical hobby to be defined by international treaty. From its early pioneers to the present day, it continually evolves to include technologies which are at the forefront of modern radio communications, yet radio amateurs can get on the air to care, with a simple handheld device. Steve Thomas, M1ACB, General Manager of the RSGB explained: “We have 500 affiliated amateur radio clubs and groups across the UK. We know that many of them have set up special club nights on the air so that their members can keep in touch whilst enjoying their shared interest. We want this campaign to inspire even more to get involved and also to use #GOTA2C when they share photos, videos and news of what they’re doing on social media.”

Ofcom, the UK radio spectrum regulator, is happy for radio amateurs to use /NHS after their call sign to show their appreciation for the fantastic work being done by the NHS. Paul Devlin says: “GB1NHS, the UK's National Health Service radio communications station, gives the NHS the ability to reach communities anywhere in the world, regardless of geographic location or connection to domestic power supplies, landlines, cell phone or internet services. It will be on the air as part of this campaign so listen out for it!”

(Source, and more info: Heather Parsons, RSGB Communications Manager: comms@rsgb.org.uk).

GW

www.rsgb.org/gota2c