Volunteer recruitment, training, supervision and referral

Beyond Words recruits volunteers from the community and trains and supervises them as volunteer biographers under the program. We link volunteer biographers with residents in the aged care home and together they undertake the process of biography.

The process

  1. We start by linking the client in aged care with a trained volunteer biographer. Often the client is initially referred by the aged care residence Lifestyle Coordinator.
  2. We set up an initial session where the program is explained and written consent is taken if the client wishes to proceed.
  3. A volunteer biographer is allocated to the client and attends 6-8 private sessions with the client (usually around 1 hour, once a week) to help the client record their life story or personal tributes into an audio-recorder.
  4. The audio recording is transcribed to draft text by the volunteer.
  5. Editing of the drafts is at the direction of the client by a read through of the previous week’s recording.
  6. Scanning and insertion of any photos, mementos, artwork, poetry etc.
  7. Editing by editorial team.
  8. Printing and binding of the biography.
  9. Presentation to client. One plastic bound hardcopy is given to the client.