A radio host who presents shows on Durham Hospitals Radio took home two awards from the National Hospital Radio Awards.

Eileen Thompson of Chester Le-Street, who has been presenting radio at the hospital for eleven years, won at the ceremony held in Bolton on March 25.

Winning silver in the Best Female Presenter category and Bronze for Best Speech Package, Eileen has said it’s “great news” for the station.

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This glowing achievement comes as the station celebrates its 60th anniversary in August for providing entertainment and companionship for patients at the hospital.

Eileen hosts multiple shows on the station, including a tree-top show with puppets for younger listeners, interacting with patients and takes requests.

Her award-winning Speech Package this year is titled ‘An interview at Bernie’s Hedgehog Rescue Centre’, where she saw baby hedgehogs in incubators and spoke about hedgehog care.

She said: “It was a lovely interview, we actually learned a lot on how to care for hedgehogs and get them in to the garden.”

Now an accomplished presenter, Eileen admitted radio was “daunting” when she took her first steps into the studio.

“I was a guest on a few radio stations just doing what I do – I’m a ventriloquist and children’s entertainer.

“From time to time I was invited to stations to be interviewed and I quite liked the setup. I thought, I wouldn’t mind trying radio from the other side to see what it was like.”

Even now that she’s been recognised nationally, Eileen said hospital radio is “like a friend” to patients across the UK.

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“Some patients are very lonely and some are very frightened when they first go in to hospital. Radio is like a friend to them, at the bedside.

“I think music is a great tonic to get well. We do chat to the patients, and find out where they’re from, what it’s been like for them in hospital.

“Radio helps them to escape when they’re in their rooms and nothing is going on. It keeps them quite happy – it’s the best medicine!”