Radio Lollipop

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Radio Lollipop
Radio Lollipop logo.png
Registration no.England and Wales: 280817
Scotland: SC039505
  • 6 New Street Square, London, EC4A 3LX
Area served
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States
South Africa
MethodRadio programming and Play interaction at the bedside and in the playrooms

Radio Lollipop is a charitable organization providing a care, comfort, play and entertainment service for children in hospital. It organizes Volunteer Playmakers to spend time with children in wards or in special play areas, taking its name from the radio stations it runs in hospitals playing children's programming - part-presented by children themselves.


Radio Lollipop was founded in 1978 at Queen Mary's Hospital for Children in Surrey, England, at first primarily as a cable wired radio station for the 460 children in the hospital. The station made its first broadcast on 5 May 1979, when the very first Radio Lollipop went on-air.

Following the success of this first station in 1980 the International Year of the Child Committee provided funding to develop Radio Lollipops in other British hospitals.

Over time emphasis shifted from the radio station to volunteers spending time on wards entertaining children in person, by playing games, doing arts and crafts and reading stories. However the "radio", with children's programming and often presenting on-air, remains a central part of the charity. Programming consists of on-air Presenter-banter with children, interspersed with request songs, and comedy and competitions. In most hospitals the programme is wired to speakers in wards, rather than actually broadcast, however a central studio, with on-air Presenters, open to children provides a focal point and base. There is a project under-way to carry feed from other hospitals in different time zones throughout the day, via the internet. Radio Lollipop is run entirely by unpaid volunteers, (usually a mix of city business people, retirees and medical students), and usually operates in the evenings.

In 1985 the first Radio Lollipop outside the UK was started in Perth, Western Australia, at the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. From these beginnings the organisation has expanded to hospitals in the east coast of Australia, New Zealand and America.[1]

Radio Lollipop is in one of the largest and most famous specialist children referral hospitals in the world, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, where it provides play services to children in 390 beds on 21 wards.[2] It originally broadcast radio from and held play sessions in a former Jubilee line tube train that was craned into the hospital and converted to house the Radio Lollipop studio.[3]


Radio Lollipop, Pediatrics Ward Block B at Gold Coast University Hospital


New Zealand[edit]

Starship hospital's atrium, location of its radio station

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

South Africa[edit]


  1. ^ "Radio Lollipop Sweetens Hospital Stays".
  2. ^ "Search Results - Great Ormond Street Hospital".
  3. ^ "London Underground's old tube trains". Time Out London.

External links[edit]