The recordings will be made at a hospice day care or outpatient setting. Patients will thereafter be given a USB or CD for them to keep forever. All recordings will be confidential and will be offered to patients free of charge.
The volunteers who will conduct these audio interviews will be journalists who will be recruited, DBS checked and specially trained by this charity. To ensure continuity of provision we will recruit two volunteers per hospice, one “lead” volunteer and one “standby” volunteer.
This means that we will need to train approximately 400 volunteer Hospice Biographers. For practical reasons each volunteer will live reasonably close to the hospice we’ve assigned them to. They will be required to commit to attend their hospice to conduct interviews at least once a fortnight, ten months per year.
To ensure this charity's long-term legacy we will invite independent academic scrutiny and therapeutic evaluation to help us demonstrate the value of our intervention and refine our methods. We will also create a nationwide secure digital audio storage facility so that relatives may gain access to audio interviews if they ever lose their originals. We will be creating Britain’s largest biographical audio archive.
With the help and co-operation of the national representative body Hospice UK and the National Council for Palliative Care we estimate that we will be able to roll out this service across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland within five years.
Over the next five years we will train over 400 volunteers to conduct audio interviews to our patients.
Our training is being carefully designed to ensure that they are fully prepared for their important roles. For convenience, our training will be conducted in geographic clusters which means hospices situated close to each other will be trained together in groups of five. Each volunteer will work one day a fortnight and capture between 4-6 audio biographies in a day. Eventually and once we are established we will capture at least 8,000 life stories a year.
Between now and January 2018 we will be piloting our training of our first 12 volunteer journalists. This includes the design and testing of our training programme we’ve designed in co-operation with the Education department of North London Hospice who have recently introduced a bespoke volunteer training programme called Oyster.
In 2018 we will train further volunteers in hospice clusters and establish a small office-based team to support them as they steadily grow in number.
Hospices we support
- Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge
- St Richards Hospice, Worcester
- Primrose Hospice, Bromsgrove
- The Myton Hospice, Coventry
- St Michael’s Hospice, Hereford
- Douglas MacMillan Hospice, Stoke on Trent