SOUTH Cumbria's hospital radio has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Bay Trust Radio, which serves patients from Barrow and across the North West, broadcasts 24 hours a day, run entirely by volunteers and the support of local people and businesses.

Run by The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) the radio station has been broadcasting since 1977, originally for hospitals in Kendal and has since expanded to broadcast to patients from Barrow and across South Cumbria, Morecambe Bay and the Fylde coast.

Representatives from Bay Trust Radio attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this years’ Award. The charity is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

Representatives of Bay Trust Radio will receive the award from Claire Hensman, Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, later this summer.

John Williamson, Station President, said: “I am immensely proud of our team for the work that they do every day for our charity and I am delighted that everybody’s work has been recognised.

"Since starting in 1977 a lot has changed but the exceptional level of commitment from our volunteers and support from local people is stronger than ever before.

"Our volunteers provide a much-needed service for local people and to be recognised with this prestigious award is absolutely amazing.”

The Queen's Award organisers said this year's winners "are wonderfully diverse". They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.

Bay Trust Radio is run entirely by volunteers. If get involved visit or call 03302230056.