MUSIC lovers at Royal Berkshire Hospital have received help thanks to a funding boost from Tesco.

The supermarket chain donated £1,000 to Hospital Radio Reading (HRR) through the Bags of Help scheme.

This will allow the radio station to preserve and upgrade equipment, used by volunteers to play record requests.

Gerard Rocks, chair of HRR, said: “We are very grateful to Tesco for this funding.

"Evidence from the Hospital Broadcasting Association shows that hospital radio can improve health and wellbeing by providing information, and the personalised service we provide by playing their favourite music helps reduce boredom, loneliness, anxiety and frustration.

“We are raising funds to finance some upgrades to our studio complex. It’s a big project that includes installing air-conditioning throughout to prolong the life of our equipment, which currently is prone to overheating.”

HRR was set up in September 1957 by local businessman Les Warth to provide commentaries on Reading Football Club home games for the patients.

This tradition is still alive more than 60 years later, as well as the opportunity to make requests for musical requests.

Fundraiser Chloe O'Czaja, wife of the station’s engineer, applied to Tesco for the money.

She added: “We also want to upgrade one of our studios to bring it to the same standard as the other one, which we refurbished for our Diamond Jubilee in 2017.

"This will enable us to provide a more reliable and user-friendly studio for our presenters and visitors to broadcast from.”

Bags of Help grants are available every two months in each of the 575 voting regions across the UK.

At the end of each two-month period, the votes from each store are counted and grants of up to £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 are awarded.

Alec Brown, Tesco’s head of Community, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers who get to decide how the money will be spent in their community.”