News

Running a palliative care biography service

  • by Maria Lopez
  • November 28, 2023

On Thursday 23 November, Palliative Care NSW delivered training on how to run a volunteer biography service.

The session was held at Green Square Library with panoramic views from the fourth floor tower showcasing the city surrounds. Participants came from Sydney and afar including the lower Hunter, Southern NSW, Shoalhaven, the Central Coast, and Brisbane.

Presenting the training was Julie Gissing and Robyn Swanson from the Sacred Heart Biography Service at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst. Having been with their service for over eight years they bring with them considerable expertise and knowledge to share with the group.

Trainees learnt the key components on how to set up and manage a palliative care volunteer biography service. As well as information on service governance, policy, and procedures, they were taught how clients benefit from engaging in life reflection, and how to create a legacy document for family and friends.

Listening skills was one of the main points discussed as well as how to establish a trusting and safe environment in which clients, over the course of several sessions, can tell their story.

“Biography is more about the process of the client engaging in life reflection than the book that is being produced,” Julie explained to attendees.

“It’s about reconnecting with Self, recognising the qualities of an individual and creating meaning even though their lives may be reduced due to the nature of their illness,” Robyn added.

Confidentiality and the role of the volunteer was discussed as well as the benefits for the family members left with a beautiful legacy document.

The session was engaging and interactive and we trust the sixteen people in attendance are now well equipped to set up and run new palliative care biography services at their organisations. We look forward to adding them to the list of biography service providers in NSW.

Upcoming Events

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – September meeting
UPCOMING
  • SEPTEMBER 12, 2024
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – September meeting

The role of the Network is to ensure best practice for NSW Managers of Pall...

Read more
NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – December meeting & Christmas lunch
UPCOMING
  • DECEMBER 12, 2024
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers – December meeting & Christmas lunch

The role of the Network is to ensure best practice for NSW Managers of Pall...

Read more

Become a member of Palliative Care NSW

Palliative Care New South Wales is the peak body in NSW representing palliative care providers and those with an interest in palliative care. Palliative Care New South Wales is a member of the national peak body Palliative Care Australia.

Join today and receive discounts, benefits and more!
Special member rate available for volunteers.

Subscribe to our eNews

Be the first to know our latest new, events, and research!

SUBSCRIBE TO ENEWS