Greg Downton’s Life Story

Exciting new volunteer opportunities

Everyone has a story to tell.

Why not help people living with MND tell their story?

MNDSA is planning to introduce a Life Stories Program where clients can share their story  and have it compiled into a memorable hard-cover book – so their story will last forever.

The process will begin with several recorded interviews with the client which will then be transcribed, edited and laid out in a professionally hand-bound unique Life Story book – at no cost to the client.

We are excited the program creates several new roles for volunteers and MNDSA client’s family members:

  • Interviewer, transcriber & writer
  • Researcher
  • Photographer
  • Proof-Reader
  • Designer
  • Artist/Cartoonist

Interviewer, Transcriber & Writer (combined roles)

Interview – Individuals who have the ability to connect with the client and form a constructive, sensitive and professional relationship. You need to be a good listener and have the ability to identify suitable content and guide the client to expand when appropriate. You will also work with the client and/or their family to collect suitable photos or other documents to be included in the story.

Transcribe – You’ll need to be competent in Microsoft Word. Use dictate software or your speedy typing skills to accurately transcribe the recorded interview verbatim.

Writer – After conducting the interviews and transcriptions, you will then use your valuable creative wordsmith skills to compile a well-told, easy to read Life Story. You will have the ability to edit content and structure as required to make the story a logical, accurate and satisfying read – all while remaining true to the client’s story.

Additional individual roles

Researcher – Do you have a passion for history? If so, this might be the gig for you! In liaison with the writer you will research and locate documents, photos etc to help illustrate events to be included in the client’s life story. Eg. newspaper clippings, birth, death and marriage notices. Familiarity with the State Archives would be an advantage. You will also need to arrange Copyright clearance as required.

Photographer – The power of a good photograph cannot be underestimated. It captures the heart and the soul and an exact moment that will never return. An experienced volunteer photographer with a love of imagery and a good camera to match will add to the well-presented Life Story. In some cases, it might be one of the last ‘good’ photos to be taken of and for the client.

Proof-Reader – At each stage, the text will be provided to the proof-reader for checking grammar, punctuation etc. The proof-reader will also be required to approve the final product before being sent to the printers.

Designer – A highly creative role, as a designer you will be required to layout the contents for publishing. You will need to be a competent user of the necessary computer hardware and have a creative flare to present the text, photos, newspaper cuttings, maps and/or other content in an engaging and easy to read form.

Artist/cartoonist – This role will enable you to provide a unique feature for the Life Story in the form of a painting, sketch, caricature or cartoon. Depending on the circumstances you may be able to visit the client in person or use a photograph as your subject.

Close friends or family members of MNDSA clients are also invited to take part in the Life Stories program if you have a skill to share. It is a truly unique way to help a relative or close friend to etch their story in history. All volunteers will be part of a team and will be encouraged to liaise closely with their peers to ensure the end product is of the highest standard.

Volunteers will need to undertake a free Volunteer screening process, complete specific training for the Life Stories program, as well as induction to MNDSA. You will be supported by fellow team members and the Life Stories Program co-ordinator.

Interested in volunteering?

This is an exciting program. Our Life Stories program is more than simply sharing a few memories. It’s about securing MNDSA clients’ place in history. If you are interested in taking part as a volunteer, please register your details here.

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