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After a decade of supporting local charities, Saffron helps to keep Essex hospital radio stations on the air

December marks a decade of Essex-based Saffron Building Society’s Community Fund. Managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF), the Fund has granted a total of £13,578 this year, taking total donations to over £100,000. This money has benefited over 55 local charities across East Anglia since the fund began in December 2001.

Saturday 17 December 2022 17:37 Press release


The latest recipient of support is Radio Forest Community Broadcasting – they have been serving the NHS since 1976 with music and entertainment for hospitals across Essex. The stations are currently on-air at the following: St Margaret's Hospital in Epping, The Derwent Centre in Harlow, Brentwood Community Hospital and Saffron Walden Community Hospital.

Two distinct services cater for different audiences, with Classic Hits Forest Gold being the flagship station, broadcasting to thousands of listeners in Essex and beyond. As a registered charity, Radio Forest are run by a loyal team of over 30 volunteers.

Saffron Building Society donated £1,000 from the 2021 Community Fund to help the charity pay for new equipment for their studio. Claire Hunnable, Community Business Partner from Saffron, comments: “Every year, our community fund supports charities that are local to our branches and provide an essential service to the community. We recognise the special place that Radio Forest holds in the hearts our local community – not only for those who work at and attend Essex hospitals, but also for those loyal listeners who have been following Radio Forest since the 1970s. We are proud to support the technical needs of the this charity’s team of dedicated volunteers".

The donation has gone a long way in helping to keep Radio Forest on our airwaves. Deborah Smart, presenter of the Late Show and volunteer at Radio Forest, said: “The donation from Saffron Building Society means that we have been able to buy vital new equipment which means we can keep providing our services to the hospitals we broadcast to. That was at risk, so we are hugely grateful for the support and anyone else interested in supporting us can email”.

To tune into Radio Forest, services are available via, search for Forest Gold Radio on the Tune In radio app, or ask your smart speaker to play Forest Gold Radio.

To find out more about Saffron Building Society’s community funding in your area, visit

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Jay Evans
Head of PR 
Tel 01223 551350 | Mob: 07808 789689 | Email:

Kathryn Bezuidenhout
PR Account Executive 
Tel: 01223 551350 | Mob: 07706 358962 | Email: