Our very own Hospice Biographer, Sophie Heaviside – who is also our Press and Media Officer – tells us a little bit more about the charity and their vison:
The power a person's voice can have...
For some people one of the hardest things about losing someone close to them – or even the thought of losing them – is facing the reality that you may never hear their voice again.
As well as the power a person’s voice can have, when someone close to you dies you can often find yourself wishing you knew more about them and their life; what was the first car they drove? How did they meet their husband or wife? What was it like living through a World War?
So what if a loved one could tell you about their life over and over again even after they have died?
It’s a simple idea to record an audio biography, and charity The Hospice Biographers is bringing such a service to over 200 hospices across the country. Myton has joined the Hospice Biographers’ pilot scheme to offer patients the chance to have their life stories professionally recorded on audio, free of charge.
What does a Hospice Biographer do...
As Myton’s trained Hospice Biographer, I will help record the audio biography and guide patients through what they want to say. I feel incredibly honoured and humbled to have been involved in the first wave of training, and to have recorded my first Hospice Biography with a patient at our Warwick IPU. I studied Broadcasting and Journalism at University, and always preferred the radio work we were assigned, so the idea of an audio biography was something which appealed to me immediately.
Creating an audio biography can have so many benefits for both patients and their families – from talking to staff and volunteers in Day Hospice and the IPU there are feelings from patients of not wanting to be forgotten, and wanting to leave a legacy. Recording an audio biography can give patients a chance to tell their story without having to write it down. It also means their families will be able to hear their voice and memories long after they've died.
The patient is given a CD of the recording – I don’t edit it at all so the content is completely organic – and it is also saved to The Hospice Biographers’ digital archive which means families can request replacement copies if the original gets damaged or lost. The charity also hopes that academics and researchers will be able to use the archive in years to come, with prior permission from patients at the time of recording.
I am looking forward to offering this service to patient’s at all three Myton sites!
If you would like to find out more about the services that we provide, please click here.