I wanted to share a personal thing with you today and tell you about ‘The Swan Song Project’.

Swan Song are based in Leeds but work with people all over the country who are experiencing a wide range of circumstances surrounding end of life and bereavement. From the early stages of a terminal diagnosis to people’s final days, immediately following a bereavement to several years after, anyone who finds themselves in this situation are welcomed to join forces and make a ‘Swan Song’.

I came across The Swan Song Project via my Mum who has a terminal cancer diagnosis, having been a singer herself in the 60’s gigging around London in a folk band, and then in later life taking challenging roles in amateur dramatic performances she toyed with the idea of performing once more. But could she do it physically? Having lost a large part of her lung to surgery did she even have enough breath to sing again? She plucked up the courage and made the call.

When she did, she found the amazing songwriter and charity founder Ben Buddy Slack. Ben deeply regretted not writing a song for his Grandma before she passed away in hospice care and so in 2017, The Swan Song Project was formed and through this Mum was able to record 2 songs, one for her husband and one for me and my 24-year-old daughter who we lost in 2020.

She found her confidence and learnt how to sing again with her now reduced lung capacity, she spent time writing her songs and recorded them online over several weeks. She did a little bit at a time, whilst receiving great support from her songwriter who guided her through every step. She said it was a very cathartic experience. The best thing is that you don’t even have to be able to sing that well! (Which let’s face it, for most of us this is handy) Swan Song have producers and writers across the globe working with them – Mums was in LA! – and the final version is produced to the highest standards meaning that your family and loved ones will have something from you that is deeply personal and professionally made to treasure for years to come, just like I do.

Participants have left feedback saying how proud they are of their songs, how happy they are to have a permanent recorded message to their loved ones, how it has helped them come to terms with their situation, and how it has helped them to articulate and communicate their feelings in a way they may not have otherwise done. And most importantly how much fun they had doing it!

Theres so much more I could tell you about The Swan Song Project but to find out how to get involved please visit their website or socials where you can learn more. Swan Song is available to participants up and down the country so if you, a loved one, or a friend are in this situation please do tell them about this special opportunity to record their very own ‘Swan Song’.