graphic of radio streams

Coronavirus: The rise and rise of amateur radio during lockdown

Finding new ways to interact and keep connected during the pandemic is proving to be successful. The RSGB describes amateur radio as a “hobby for people who want to learn about, use and experiment with wireless communications”.

75,000 licensed radio amateurs

Working in partnership with the NHS ‘Get on the air to care‘ campaign RSGB has been encouraging people to chat and support each other. The campaign is to improve the health and well-being of communities that are concerned, social isolation is negative in lockdown. Currently, there’s a whopping 75,000 licensed radio amateurs that are registered in the UK, including those returning from hiatus.

The Breaker spoke with Rufus Maher, foundry worker from the West-Midlands, who gave insight on the popularity of amateur radio.

The Random Show

Before lockdown Maher could be heard on Sandwell hospital radio entertaining sick patients. Proactive with his free time, he’s now on the airwaves at fantasy radio mixing it up on The Random Show.

21,000 hits in a 24 hour period

Rufus told The Breaker, “news is quite negative lately with coronavirus, we’re trying to incorporate a good well-being”. Discussing whether The Random Show reaches an audience he said, “last Saturday we had over 21,000 hits in a 24 hour period, it means someone’s listening to my show”.

Mental health is a big issue in this time, and Rufus admits that his hobby is a form of escapism.

“Planning shows and being on air keeps me busy. I wasn’t fussed about anyone listening at first, but after lockdown maybe I can make some money with it”.

Amateur radio users range from daily welfare issues for over 65’s to the Essex Ham amateur radio club. They all help to spread awareness to their specific niche helping the most vulnerable people. Elderly people have also been using this as a tool to combat loneliness.

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