Get on the air to care

The ‘Get on the Air to Care’ campaign was run in partnership by the RSGB and the NHS from April 2020 to September 2021. It encouraged the 75,000 radio amateurs across the UK – as part of the 3,000,000 worldwide – to use their radio licences to chat and support each other across the airwaves

The launch coincided with World Amateur Radio Day which celebrates each year the innovative, amateur radio global community.

As COVID-19 took hold across the world, we realised that we needed to use all modes of communication to help reduce loneliness and support mental wellbeing. We also wanted to highlight the benefits of amateur radio for helping people to cope with lockdowns and social isolation.

Radio amateurs were encouraged to show their support for the NHS by adding /NHS to the end of their call sign.

Clubs and groups set up special club nights on the air so that their members could keep in touch whilst enjoying their shared interest.

The RSGB launched remote invigilation to help new people start enjoying amateur radio; started Hope QSO Parties to give radio amateurs a daytime focus; provided construction competitions and launched Beyond Exams resources to help people try something new; and created videos to help new licensees understand how to set up their stations, make QSOs and do simple practical tasks.

It was an incredibly busy year as the RSGB and radio amateurs across the UK rose to the challenge. Take a look at our video which captures the many highlights of a very unusual year…

Getting involved

Find out clubs, groups and societies have got involved in Get on the Air to Care.

Read stories from just some of the thousands of people who gained their Foundation licence or progressed through the licence levels.

Take a look at the media coverage of this special campaign.