Service Leadership: The Hospice Biographers


A remarkable recent example of service leadership can be found in the example set by Barbara Altounyan , in the founding of The Hospice Biographers this month

My very indirect connection with Barbara comes from a meeting with her father and medical innovator Roger Altounyan , many years ago.

Her innovation is a brilliant one. I have no doubt it will inspire others to contribute to what will be a much-appreciated service to large numbers of families.  Its ultimate scope is global.

In her newsletter, Barbara explains the idea behind the new charity:

As an audio biographer, I record people’s life stories on audio so that their family and friends will still be able to hear their voices and memories long after they’ve passed away. I’ve been an interviewer for radio and TV for the past thirty years so I’m now well able to marshal the very best interviews from my clients.

Once a month, I also volunteer my professional services at a local hospice but wondered if such a service also existed elsewhere, at other hospices in the UK? Does your hospice already offer this to your day patients? If not, would you be interested?

I am currently considering launching a small charity called The Hospice Biographers this September [2016]. if this service proves to be genuinely wanted and needed. The charity would recruit and train volunteer mature journalists like myself to carry out audio biographies at their local hospices across the country, from John O’Groats to Brighton.

If interested, each hospice would be asked to provide a quiet room once a month, somewhere for the recording to take place. The charity would provide the necessary audio equipment. Each interview with a patient would last about 45 minutes to an hour, with patients given a USB or CD recording of their audio interview at a later date to keep or to give to their relatives as an heirloom, a family treasure.

If this is something you would be interested in, please do let me know.

You can find out more about Barbara’s work on her website, or contact her via email at or on 0771 253 4399.


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