A Life-Saving Voice
You'll often hear me saying that my work is all about human connection. Being the voice of a defibrillator is just one of the reasons why I also always say that it's never 'just talking'. A voice really does have the power to save lives...
A few years ago, a project landed in my inbox. I knew that this project was special & that it had the potential to make a real difference. The script was designed to talk people through using a defibrillator and brief directions and editing instructions were very specific. Well, you don't muck about when you're trying to save a life! I recorded it exactly as directed and sent it off into the ether, hoping that it would make a difference.
A couple of years ago, I received a message from a former BBC colleague, Mark James. He's a volunteer for the Coastguard in Mumbles. "Erm, I know this is a bit random, but I'm on a training exercise learning how to use a defibrillator & the voice sounds very like yours. Is it you?" "Ah, yes! It is!" I replied, glad to hear that this piece of work was indeed out there, doing what it was designed to do.
Again, out of the blue, on 17th June 2021, my WhatsApp pinged with a message from a voice over friend & colleague... "I'm listening to you on BBC news this morning. I've just heard you being the voice of a defibrillator machine!" How incredibly heart-warming to hear about the number of lives this machine has helped to save. Huge respect to Mark for setting up the Oliver King Foundation, following the sudden death of his 12 year old son from a cardiac arrest. Mark has raised the funds to buy many of these defibrillators & trained a lot of people to use them, too.
Here's the snippet from BBC Breakfast. Mark demonstrates the defib' with my voice instructing the user in what to do, from about 57 seconds into the piece.
And of course you can view it over on the BBC website here .
Do you know what's also strange? A couple of days after this piece was transmitted, I was walking in my beautiful local park & I happened to notice a collection tin. Yep, you guessed it. It was there to raise funds to purchase a defibrillator for Brabyns Park in Marple. I've since been in touch with the organisers with offers of help and have of course, contributed.
And a week after the piece was aired on BBC Breakfast, the fabulous Elis & James on BBC Radio 5 Live played their inimitable Unsung Hero fanfare & we had a brief chat about being the voice of a defibrillator. You can listen via BBC Sounds, here from around 35 mins 46.
Life is full of magical synchronicities. Because aside from the pieces on BBC TV & Radio & the collection tin in the park, I've recently been talking to my lovely friend & colleague Elinor Hamilton about all this, for her podcast Tales from the Tannoy !
Oh and the good news is that the fundraising campaign for the defib' in the park has is reached the target, which is wonderful! The fundraising ideas I had won't be wasted though, I'm in the process of collaborating with the talented Helen Roscoe of Roscoe Rutter on an event to bring the community together and promote wellbeing. It feels fitting after the last 18 months when that beautiful park has kept so many of us sane, fit & healthy during the pandemic.
So, I say again, my work is never 'just talking'. The human voice really does have the power to both enhance and save lives.
Thank you for listening. If I can assist with your next project, please don't hesitate to get in touch & I'll be happy to help. You'll find downloadable reels here.