Nottinghamshire Hospice

Adding Life to Days

Full house for hospice book launch

Patients, volunteers and staff from Nottinghamshire Hospice performed to a packed house at Nottingham Waterstones on Saturday as they read out their work from Life’s Whispers, a new book featuring stories from the hospice which captures precious memories in print.

Around 100 people came to the launch of the book, subtitled ‘Journeys to the Hospice,’ which captures pivotal moments in the lives of the writers and contains a rich diversity of material.

One patient recalls how she went into labour on a rowing boat in a rush to hospital during the floods of Christmas 1978, a staff member talks about her fight to become the nurse she dreamed of being, and a volunteer describes how an out of body experience aged eight led to a change of career path.

Ray Mellors, 93, is one of 17 patients and staff members who took part in the project. His story records his first date with his late wife Doris who he met when he was 16.

Ray says: “I’ve really enjoyed it. It really surprised me how many people came to support us. It made a big difference. I’m enjoying reading all the other stories in the book too.”

Facilitator Victoria Villasenor from Global Wordsmiths CIC, who ran the eight-week Arts-Council funded project with her colleague Nicci Robinson says: “The stories are all deeply personal, heartfelt, and show the depth of experience running through the hospice.

“There is evidence that creative writing can help people make sense of their emotions and is in itself a therapeutic process. Capturing people’s stories in print is valuable not just for the patients but also as a legacy for their loved ones.”

Kerry Lovell, Occupational Therapist at Nottinghamshire Hospice, who contributed to the book says: “The project involved thinking about the many pivotal moments in our lives and choosing just one experience to develop into a story. This allows a significant moment in each person’s life to be recalled and treasured.

“I really enjoyed listening to the stories. Some are packed with humour, but more often they are poignant and uncover a part of us that we don’t always want to show or talk about directly.

“It has given our patients a great boost to be involved in this project and to see their work in print We hope to continue with therapeutic writing as an activity in the future as there are many more stories to be told.”

Copies of Life’s Whispers are available at £5 from http://globalwords.co.uk/memoir-anthologies/ Some of the proceeds go to Nottinghamshire Hospice. There is also a limited supply at Waterstones in Nottingham.