What to expect when you tell your family story to a story collector

Preparing for your story session

Once we have received the booking, your story collector will telephone you. Your story collector will explain the story session and answer your questions.

We will also send you a consent form asking permission for your story to be collected. Please read the consent form, and contact us before the story session, if you have questions.
You can send the signed consent form back to us before your story session in the reply paid envelope.

Your family is interested in particular stories. You may also have particular stories you would like to tell. If you are stuck and need help, check out the useful conversation starters. It’s a good idea to write some ideas down to jog your memory and keep them handy at the story session. You don’t need to write down everything, as the best stories are natural.

On the morning of your story session

Wear something comfortable for your story session. We recommend something colourful so you stand out in your video.

Choose a room for the story session that is quiet, comfortable and free of distractions. This could be a living room or kitchen. We do not recommend holding the story session outside, as this can hinder the quality of recording.

Place two chairs for you and the story collector one metre away from each other. Your story collector will help with moving furniture. Provide two glasses of water for you and the story collector, so you don’t need to get up during the story session.

It is a good idea to let family members know the day and time of your story session, so you are not disturbed.

What happens at your story session?

Our story collectors are professional and friendly. Have a read of our code of practice that guides our work.

When your story collector arrives, they will introduce themselves and show you their identification.

Before the story session starts your story collector will check that we have received your consent form and answer any last minute questions.

We use discrete recording equipment to record stories, so there will be no large camera or microphone. Your story collector will set up and check the recording equipment.

The story gathering process is very informal and enjoyable. Your story collector will ask you a few opening questions to start the conversation, and then will leave it up to you to tell your story. Your story collector will be ready with guidance and support if you need it. You don’t need to remember everything.

With your permission, at the end of the story session, your story collector will take a photo of you as a memento.

Please allow 60 minutes for the story session, including set up time.

Where do I go if I choose to come to the Wellington Ink Research Rooms?

If you live in Wellington, and would like to tell your story to a story collector at the Ink Research Rooms, come to our place on the corner of Victoria and Bond Streets. There’s on-street parking, as well as several parking buildings nearby. Public transport routes are very close by. Feel free to ask us about parking or public transport options.

Our rooms are wheelchair-friendly, with accessible bathrooms and elevators up to our rooms on level 3.

What happens after your story session?

We will send you the photo of the story session as a memento.

We will also courier the video recording of your story to your family member who made the booking within three working days of the story session. We hold your family story on our secure server for 28 days as a safety measure. We will email your family member during this time and remind them to save your story.


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