Oral History Volunteer

Opportunity image

Project: Living Histories - Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust

Duration: July 2024 for 13 months

Location: Sussex, with potential travel to various sites within the county. Due to the nature of this role, conducted across Sussex, we are seeking volunteers that are based in Sussex and are able to travel easily e.g. in their own vehicle or via public transport.

Project Overview:

Living Histories aims to capture the life stories of 35 NHS Mental Health (MH) staff and service users in Sussex, looking at their mental health experiences in the context of their whole lives. The project spans from the closure of the old asylums in the late 1980s and 1990s and the change to community mental health care, up to and including the Covid-19 pandemic.

This project, delivered by Heads On charity through SPFT involves the recruitment and training of volunteers to conduct oral history interviews, helping to preserve and share these valuable stories, and create a comprehensive archival and exhibition resource.

Role Purpose:

  • Oral History Volunteers will play a crucial role in collecting and preserving the personal experiences of individuals connected to the SPFT mental health services in Sussex.

  • Oral History Volunteers will interview candidates chosen by the project team and record their memories via digital recording equipment.

  • Prepare recordings for archiving and transcription. Researching and recording information sound bites for inclusion in Audio Guides, pod’ and vodcast.

  • Volunteers will help in the digitisation and cataloguing of materials, and contribute to the final exhibitions and materials.

  • Interviewing people about their personal lives and involvement in mental health services.

  • Utilise basic audio editing to prepare recordings for depositing in the archive Transcribing recordings and highlighting keywords.

  • Noting interesting excerpts that could be featured on our website and exhibition.

Candidates must be able to commit to the following:

  • Availability for training and oral history recording between September 2024-May 2025.

  • Volunteers are expected to commit to conducting at least two interviews in Sussex over the course of the project.

  • Participation in initial and follow-up training sessions is required.

  • Monthly online volunteer meeting with project manager

  • Attending Oral History training (3 x days) and Mental Health Awareness training (1 day) alongside ability to attend online mandatory training with SPFT.

  • Have own laptop and ability to get online

Experience in oral history is not required for this role as full training will be provided.

We would welcome volunteers with lived experience of mental health service services.

Volunteers will be subject to interview and a DBS check through SPFT.