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P-26 The swan song project
  1. Nicola Denbow1 and
  2. Ben Slack2
  1. 1Marie Curie Hospice, Bradford, UK
  2. 2The Swan Song Project, Bradford, UK


The Swan Song Project gives people dealing with end of life and bereavement the opportunity to write and record an original song. A professional songwriter helps every step of the way, the songs are then recorded and participants have the option of keeping them private or sharing them on the project website. Beginning at Marie Curie Hospice Bradford in May 2017 the project has been incredibly powerful in many ways. This presentation will detail the different ways people have engaged with the project and the impact it has made. The song-writing process can be greatly therapeutic as many participants have reported. Some have used the opportunity to communicate beautiful messages to their loved ones which may have been difficult to do face-to-face, some have reflected on their lives and found new perspectives on their value and identity and some have left messages for their children or grandchildren to grow up with. These songs are in the control of the participants and focus on who they are and what they want to say in a time when a lot may be out of their control and focusing on their conditions. The project also works with friends and family dealing with bereavement. The songs can then live on with them for many years to come as a part of their loved ones’ legacy.

In this presentation, Project Facilitator Ben Buddy Slack and Lead Nurse at Marie Curie Bradford, Nicky Denbow, will share stories and feedback on the project so far and the impact it has made on participants, their loved ones, the hospice and the wider public. We all lose people and we all connect with music in some way and this project has moved the hearts of many and it is continuing to develop and expand.

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