40 Faces of hospice care | Rob Underwood, supporter of St Barnabas

8th November 2023

A man, Rob Underwood, who is a supporter of St Barnabas Hospice, photographed in black and white, against a black backdrop

Today, broadcaster Rob is no stranger to St Barnabas. But when he joined BBC Radio Lincolnshire in the early 1990s, the Hospice hadn’t crossed his path yet. However, that soon changed!

The station has long been an advocate for the Hospice, sharing our stories and promoting the cause. Over the years, the BBC Radio Lincolnshire team has supported our fundraising events, raised money through their own appeals and regularly given our staff, supporters, and families a chance to tell their stories on air. In fact, to mark our 35-year anniversary, an entire show was broadcast from the Hospice. It was quite the occasion!

Rob played a big role in St Barnabas’ story during his time at the radio station, but his biggest role was yet to come. We took a very special opportunity to him in 2022 – one that he was delighted to accept. Because now, Rob is the voice of Rudy the reindeer! Our festive appeal, Rudy’s Run, sees thousands of schoolchildren running, dancing, or prancing to raise money for St Barnabas.

Rob played along good-naturedly; perfecting Rudy’s voice ready for the recording. The task was a far cry from his award presenting, football commentary and guest interviewing, but we think he might give Rudolf a run for his money! Antlers and a red nose are essential for getting into the spirit of Rudy’s Run – whether Rob donned them to get into character we don’t know…

However, we do know that Rob is at risk of morphing with Rudy. At an event organised by a family friend raising money for St Barnabas, Rob was lucky enough to win a raffle prize. And when he went up to collect it, he was announced as the ‘voice of Rudy’!  We also spotted him eyeing up the Rudy costume when he recorded the voice, wondering whether people might think he really is Rudy…and we’re keeping the answer under wraps!

In his own words… “I’m only too happy to help St Barnabas – it’s such a great cause. It’s so reassuring to know it’s there in our community. People in Lincolnshire have a fond affection for the Hospice, its support, and the comfort it has, and continues to give to so many.”

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