Getting Started by tQ7Cr31i

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									                     Quick Guides to Life Story Work


                           Getting Started




   Just get on with it. Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of starting the
    project.

   Making contacts
      o Some people will be able to compile their own list of potential
         contacts
      o Others will need help or suggestions
      o As story unfolds the list is likely to extend
      o During each session make sure the list is updated

   Inviting people to participate
       o Send a letter of invitation in first instance
       o Keep the information simple
               If person is able to write, the following may be used:

    I am writing a life story book. It is a book about my life with
    lots of stories and memories from my past and present. I would
    like to include some stories from you, of the time we spent
    together. Look for any photos you have of us and think of any
    memories you would like to share. When we meet up we can discuss
    this further. Thank you.


            If the person has difficulty writing or communicating:
    I am helping Johnny to write a life story book. Because Johnny
    can not speak, he will never be able to verbalise his
    experiences. A life story book will be a personal record of some
    of the experiences Johnny has had which may otherwise go
    undocumented. It is a way of keeping his past ‘alive’ when he
    moves to a new home, providing continuity of his identity.

    As you are close to Johnny, I thought you might like to
    contribute to his life story book. Any ‘stories’ or salient
    memories of your time together, including some photographs, would
    add a lot to his book.

    I would like to discuss this further so if you have any questions
    do not hesitate to contact me.

    [Sign your name and state your association to Johnny.    Add
    contact details].


 Tips for making contacts

            If the person lives at home with family:

                 Approach the family first
                       Quick Guides to Life Story Work


                  Either send a letter detailing the aims of the life story book
                   or discuss personally using the contents of the letter. The
                   family can keep this to refer to in their own time.
                  If there is a third party who knows the family better than
                   you do, then ask them to make the initial contact.
                  Respect the wishes of the family, even if they decline to take
                   part in the process. They may change their mind later.
                  Be sure the family understands what is being asked of them
                   in terms of input to the life story book.
                  If the family is supportive of the project, allow them to take
                   control as much as possible. This will reinforce the trust
                   and respect between you. Remember, this may be the first
                   time they have been given the chance to be the ‘expert’ on
                   their relative, so be a captive audience!

              If the person lives in a residential setting:

                 Talk to the carers who know the person best. This may be
                  you.
                Draw up a list of suitable contacts between you. This will
                  include:
                  - Known family members
                  - Any friends of the person who can communicate
                      verbally
                  - Current carers
                  - Previous carers who were close to the person
               Approach each contact, again, being clear of your aims for
                compiling the book, and exactly what is being asked of them.

   Other sources of information

              Birth certificate
              Post cards – these may be of places the person has visited, or
               cards received from family or friends
              Certificates – most people are proud of certificates and a life
               story book is an appropriate place to present them
              Magazine cuttings – these can be of things that the person
               values, such as idols or articles of interest
              Drawings – it is always nice to include personal work from the
               individual. Where a person is unable to write their own book
               this is even more important. Drawings can be an expression of
               self and add a lot to a life story book
              Poems
              Letters – like post cards, letters are a nice way of keeping the
               memories of special relationships alive by including them in
               the life story book
              Audio and video cassettes

								
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