Calls to share family stories to prevent social isolation during virus outbreak

It's hoped that families will use the scheme to stay in touch Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

It's hoped that families will use the scheme to stay in touch Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An Ipswich based company is looking to unite families and unearth hidden pasts with its new project.

Digital company Chronicle, focuses on preserving people’s life stories and telling them in different ways.

“In the current day and age of social media, it’s something more meaningful,” said John Royle from Chronicle.

Usually the group works with museums and archives, as well as groups to try and preserve interesting stories, often through people’s voices.

However, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Chronicle have begun a new project to help families.

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“We have developed a new system to try and help people keep in contact with each other during these difficult times,” said Mr Royle.

The new, free project is called ‘Life Story Quest’ and focuses on telling the stories of older people.

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It aims to encourage families to call, email or text each other every day, in order to keep talking.

Each day prompts will be sent to those who have signed for the project up with potential topics for families to discuss.

The hope is that over time a bank of information is built up about an older person’s life, which can be recorded by either side and kept. At the same time families are staying in touch and staving off potential social isolation.

“It’s about providing people with suggested topics to talk about so we can have a real conversation with someone about something,” said Mr Royle.

“I think we have a lot to learn from older generations going through the war.”

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Among the topics families will be suggested are childhood games and keepsakes.

It’s not the first way that Chronicle have looked to tell people’s stories locally.

The company also creates special memory boxes and has worked with residents living in the Seckford Almshouses in Woodbridge to record their voices to recall their memories.

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“We also have an app that people can download and follow around Ipswich,” said Mr Royle.

The app is a special trail that people can use to find out hidden stories from the town’s history.

Life Story Quest is due to begin in the next few days, with the first prompts going out to families soon.

To get involved in the project, visit its website.

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