The Biography Service at Te Omanga Hospice was established in the mid 1980’s to meet the perceived needs of our patients. It was established first and foremost for the benefit of the patient and that remains our focus today. Reflecting, reviewing and recording one’s life experience is seen as having a therapeutic effect, whether that is raising the patient’s self esteem, or merely being an enjoyable way for them to spend some time doing something that they can do, when often there is so much that they can’t do.

The focus has always been on what it can do for our patient – in fact this statement sums it up: “The story is secondary in the process – it is what happens to our patient in the telling of their story that is the most important part”. Indeed, often aspects of a story that have the greatest therapeutic effect, related to the biographer in confidence, are never written down (at the patient’s request).

Being a biographer is much more than sitting recording stories – our 2 day training weekend reflects this.

Our Manager of Volunteer Services, Janice Henson, is happy to talk with you if you are interested in finding out more about how you can help. Please call Janice on 04 566 4535, Option 2 or email

Download a Volunteer application form