Carl talks about why he’s recorded his life story as part of a pioneering Macmillan pilot project.
‘My wife Sue first heard about the oral history project at the Macmillan centre in Crewe, where I’ve been under care for terminal pancreatic cancer.
‘I could tell when Sue gave me the leaflet that she was keen for me to do it. She suggested it to me the same way it had been suggested to her – She said, "Imagine if our parents had recorded their stories and we could listen to them talk about their lives now."
‘We’ve got two grown-up children, you see, and three young grandchildren with one on the way. So I wanted to do it for them as well.
‘When it was time to do the recording, I was quite poorly with pancreatitis. So Lorraine, the oral historian, came to our home. She was absolutely lovely and made me feel very comfortable – I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do it.
‘I found making the recordings quite cathartic in a way. It’s definitely helped me reflect on my life more – on everything I’ve done and achieved. Sue and I have been married for 38 years, so we’ve been through a lot together. And I started remembering lots of little things that I hadn’t thought about in years.
‘Sometimes it was hard to recall everything. What you don’t realise when you’re going through life is that often lots of things are going on at once – and obviously I could only talk about one thing at a time. But Lorraine was there to prompt me if I needed any help.
'I’d definitely recommend the project to someone in my position.'
'It’s the sort of thing where, once you know about it, you’ll regret it if you don’t do it. And it’s so easy. All it took for me were two one-hour sessions. There are no downsides.’
The oral history project is a Macmillan-funded pilot scheme that allows people with a life threatening illness or those receiving palliative care, to record their life story on CD.
The recordings are made by specially trained volunteers and take place in Macmillan centres, hospitals, hospices or, in some instances, in people’s homes.
To find out more about the project, visit the University of Sheffield website and search 'oral history Macmillan' at the top of the page.