VerseOne and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust (HACW) have jointly developed and just launched Life Stories, an exciting new platform for capturing memories and people’s stories. Although Life Story work may be thought of when thinking about people living with dementia, it also has applicability across the life span, for older people, people within learning disabilities and children. Writing and sharing our life stories can be therapeutic and enhance our wellbeing. For people who are being supported in care or who are in hospital, life story books are known to be beneficial to enhancing relationships and improving care.
The new online smart digital platform takes life story work even further than before as users are able to capture the significant moments of their lives and interests in a rich, interactive, online “digital book” — whenever and wherever they are.
Users can collaborate with others to enrich their story, and share it with friends, families, carers and their community.
Life Stories is part of the Worcester Life Stories project, alongside Worcester City Council’s complementary Know Your Place (KYP) platform, and both applications were launched at successful and well received online public events on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th April 2021.
Attendees were treated to a speech by Councillor Jo Hodges, Mayor of Worcester 2020/21, and a presentation by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Polly Kaiser, who was one of the founding Directors of Life Stories Network. This was followed by demonstrations of the Worcester Know Your Place archives application, and the Life Stories book platform by VerseOne.
NHS employees, local stakeholders, care home staff, and members of the public praised the “amazing” Life Stories application, describing it as “a great and fantastic resource”, and commenting that it was “fantastic to see the platform in action” — and one person exclaiming “I love this so much”.
Dr Natasha Lord, HACW Lead Clinical Psychologist for older people's mental health and driving force behind the project, said:
“We have been waiting a long time to develop the platform, and it has been a pleasure to work with VerseOne to finally realise this wonderful resource. We believe that Life Stories will be a superb clinical resource, empowering people to capture what is important to them, stimulating conversations about future wants and needs, enhancing inter-generational understanding, and where needed provide an understanding of the person to others who are supporting them. People will also be providing their families with an amazing archive.
“Now that Life Stories has been launched, we are really excited to see how people use it — whether that be for enhancing the lives of their families or collaborating on community projects.”
Alan Neilson, Founder and Executive Chairman of VerseOne Group Ltd, believes in the potential of the platform.
“We founded VerseOne with the specific vision to use innovative technologies to improve people’s lives. In this spirit, when Dr Lord and HACW approached us about this exciting platform, we were pleased to match-fund the development through the VerseOne Innovation Fund.
“VerseOne supplies digital solutions to more than 50 NHS organisations, but we knew that this platform was both radical, and had the potential to make a positive impact to the experiences of those living with dementia and other cognitive difficulties.
“We are proud to be involved with this unique endeavour and look forward to working with other NHS organisations to make this fantastic platform available across the country.”
The Life Stories platform is available to use now, for free, to all residents of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, at: https://life-stories.hacw.nhs.uk
For more information on the Life Stories platform, please contact Sue Allder, VerseOne Strategic Projects Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org