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P-23 The open scrapbook – young volunteers improving practice through project work
  1. Rhiannon Wheeler and
  2. Tara Schrikker
  1. St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Eastbourne, UK


Background 16–23 year olds on a clinical volunteer programme at the hospice in the evenings presented an opportunity to provide meaningful, bespoke activities for patients on the inpatient Unit (IPU) as well as maximising the volunteers’ contribution.


  • Improve wellbeing for patients on the IPU by providing narrative based activity

  • Young volunteers at the start of their clinical career to understand importance of compassionate care and value of storytelling in palliative care.


  • February 2018: five volunteers attended a training session to explore the benefits of company, conversation and storytelling for patients (Patel, 2016).

  • Volunteers completed project work resulting in an A3 template called The Open Scrapbook; a tool for volunteers to work through with patients to creatively collate information and communicate what is special to them.

  • April 2018: a new group of nine young volunteers have continued work on the open scrapbook and following a further training session, project has commenced.

Results Completion of the open scrapbook with volunteers provides meaningful activity as well as being a cathartic and enjoyable process for patients by reflecting on memories and the opportunity to tell stories about their lives and what matters to them. Open Scrapbooks are visible in patients’ bedrooms so that they can continue to be added to and enable clinical and non-clinical teams to get to know important information to support their work. Open scrapbooks serve as a keepsake for patients and families to take home.

Conclusion The Open Scrapbook initiative acknowledges the impact of narrative-based activities at end of life as an important component when addressing ‘total pain’ (Stanworth, 2004). Young volunteers involved in the project to begin their medical careers feeling confident with talking about death, dying and loss and understand the value of storytelling in medicine and healthcare.

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