Establishing a Volunteer Biography Program had long been a dream, and just over a year ago, J. Cawton, HHS Volunteer Services Manager received a scholarship from Palliative Care Victoria to attend training with Eastern Palliative Care to set up our own Volunteer Biography Program. After several months of work preparing Biographer Handbooks, training notes and forms, the Hepburn Health’ Beyond Words’ Volunteer Biography Program was born. Earlier this year the first four volunteers attended training at Hepburn Health for the new Beyond Words Biography Program. Gene Hadfield, Beyond Words Volunteer Biographer commenced Biography work with a Creswick Nursing Home resident who sadly died before his Biography had been completed. Debbie Rauber, another new Biographer was already volunteering in Lumeah Lodge in Daylesford and was very interested in helping residents to capture life stories to put together their Biographies. After several months of visits with Ken, recording, transcribing and editing, Debbie presented the first completed Beyond Words Program Biography entitled ‘Just an Ordinary Life’ to Ken Smith, resident of Lumeah Lodge. Ken’s son Kevin was very helpful throughout the process finding photos and checking dates and other details. The Biography presentation was a special moment for Ken and Kevin, Debbie and J. Ken and Kevin gave Debbie a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers to show their appreciation of her hard work and commitment to Ken and his story. Thank you Debbie for your fantastic work producing Ken’s Biography, and for helping to bring my vision to fruition.
Further Volunteer Biographer training will be run in 2020, further information will be provided and expressions of interest will be accepted in the New Year.
Here is the last page from Ken’s Biography.
It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to work with Ken on his Biography. We have laughed, shared a few tears, smiled heaps and reminisced with many stories about a Life well spent.
Ken and I met on my first excursion as a Volunteer at Lumeah Lodge. He ended up driving back with me from Bendigo and we chatted non-stop all the way home.
This Biography was also a first; my first Biography with the Hepburn Health Service’s ‘Beyond Words Program’. I asked Ken if he’d be my ‘Guinea Pig’. Of course Ken, ever the Volunteer, said, “Yes. But Mine’s just an ordinary Life.” And so Ken’s Biography was born.
I feel especially honoured to have shared his stories about his lifelong love for his dear Pat, who he was married to for 58 years. To hear him explain his relationships with Elsie (his Birth Mother) and Kitty “Boyley “ (his Mother-in-Law) was indeed very special too.
Ken showed so much pride in his Boys – Peter and Kevin and much love for his Grandchildren.
I have felt incredibly honoured to have met Ken and we will be continuing our friendship by sharing our love of music with musical afternoons with Adrian Holmes and Sing a longs with other residents of Lumeah Lodge, Daylesford. Not to forget, a few chats here and there!
Feeling very grateful