The Lasting Words project allows people who are approaching the end of their life to have their stories, thoughts and special memories captured.
Our storytellers, the people who talk about their memories, achievements, hopes, dreams and wishes, can find this a beneficial thing to do as they approach the end of their life. And the end story can provide family and loved ones with a lasting memento.
Lasting Words volunteers visit people in their homes or in residential aged care, record their conversations and transcribe their stories.
While storytellers can range in age, medical condition or prognosis, they all have one thing in common – a desire to tell their stories to someone, and to have them captured before they die.
Interested in volunteering?
We are looking for volunteer interviewers who are:
- Good listeners and interested in hearing people’s stories
- Prepared to undertake appropriate training
- Able to visit storytellers in their own homes or in Residential Aged Care
- Available to conduct a series of 45 minute interviews with each storyteller
- Able to take audio recordings on equipment that is provided
- Able to transcribe the recordings to an electronic document
If you are interested in volunteering, please come to one of our monthly Social Cafés to learn more about Lasting Words and hear first-hand what it is like to be an interviewer. To be a Lasting Words volunteer interviewer you need to:
- Fill out a volunteer application form – we will have some at the Social Café
- Provide a Police Clearance and a Working with Children Card
- Attend a full-day Volunteering in Palliative Care training course
Further training in Dignity Therapy will be available at a later stage for those who are interested.
How does it work?
Once you have completed the required training, you will be matched with a storyteller. While arrangements may vary depending on their situation and health, generally the process will include the following steps.
- An initial visit to meet and chat with the storyteller and explain the process.
- Arranging a series of mutually convenient interview times with the storyteller of 45 minutes each. You are likely to need 6-8 interviews.
- Recording and transcribing each interview.
- Discussing the transcription of the previous interview with the storyteller.
- A final visit to present the storyteller with their Lasting Words.
Want more information?
We would love to hear from you if you are interested in:
- telling your own story – being a storyteller
- being a volunteer interviewer
- arranging for someone to tell their story
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 551 704.
To find out more about Lasting Words and what it is like being a volunteer interviewer, you can view a short video here.
Lasting Words is managed by a volunteer steering committee, under the auspice of Palliative Care WA. We are honoured to be supported by our Patron, Andrew Allsop. Andrew is the Senior Social Worker at Silver Chain Hospice Care Service and also a Director on the Board of Palliative Care Australia.
We would like to thank Cancer Council WA for supporting Lasting Words by providing Volunteering in Palliative Care training for all volunteer interviewers.
In the media
Lasting Words has been recently featured on two radio programs:
- The ABC’s Focus program: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/perth/programs/focus/lasting-words/12877422
- RTRfm: https://rtrfm.com.au/story/lasting-words/