It can be hard to hold on to all those things your grandma told you about her life, or passing your memories down to younger generations. That’s why today for our next instalment of WTMH? we are talking to Dhilon from Story Locker about creating memories that stand the test of time.

We also have an incredible prize to add to our ever growing bundle. So don’t miss out on your chance to gain more entries!

Please can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Yes, I’m Dhilon Solanki CEO and Founder of Story Locker

Tell us about Story Locker! 

It’s a new gift, which means you can turn your life stories and landmark moments into a personal podcast.  

Story Locker allows you to immortalise memories and milestone events. Whether it’s an anniversary or a company retirement. A child’s first year, a wedding or even a life story in a professionally recorded interview. This can then be shared with your family and friends as a podcast they can access any time.  

Story Locker is a unique and innovative concept for capturing memories.  What was your inspiration for creating it?

Thank you. Story Locker was inspired by my Mum, Nina. She passed away in 1995 aged 50, with Acoustic Neuroma (a type of brain tumour).

I hadn’t started my family when she died so she never got to meet her grandchildren. I’d always imagined the memories they might have shared. 

Recently, when my son, Kian started asking about his grandma, all I had to offer him were my memories. Along with some old photos and VHS tapes.

It got me thinking about how my Mum could have captured her story today and how being able to hear her voice again would give my family so much pleasure. 

I decided to set up an interview for my Dad so he could tell their story and have it recorded as a podcast. When I saw Kian’s face as he listened to it play back, I knew we had created something special.

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There are so many ways that creating memories like this could benefit our mental health.  The older members of families can recount their lives for younger generations, those who face illness can leave messages and stories, celebrating milestones and important life events.  Did this factor into your creation process?

Absolutely. Our service is about creating memories for future generations to be able to listen to the voices, stories and wisdom of older members of their families. It can only be good for mental health if you get to understand and connect with those in your family who you may never have got to meet, and learn from their stories and life lessons. 

Who are your interviewers?  

We have a range of 20 experienced professional interviewers from a variety of backgrounds. Hope Ellen, our Head of Talent, manages all our interviewers and ensures they are all kept up to date with communications, news, and everything Story Locker-related. 

We have interviewers from the BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, Netflix, and many more. With their diverse backgrounds we can match them to make sure customers get the best experience possible. For example, if a customer has a sporting background, we would match them with one of our interviewers who has a regular show on TalkSport. 

Starting Your Story begins with a call from your chosen Interviewer.  This is an exciting first step in making your Locke for memories.  What could people expect to chat about with them? 

Before this onboarding call, each guest fills out a short questionnaire answering general questions about themselves and any key life milestones, including dates. This is then passed onto one of our interviewers so they already have some insight into the guest before they talk for the first time. 

During the onboarding call itself, the main objective is to allow the customer and interviewer the chance to build a great rapport with each other. Our interviewer will reference the questionnaire and make sure the customer feels comfortable talking about their background and sharing their story. It also means the customer can raise any questions and say if there is anything that they don’t want to discuss. 

The onboarding call usually lasts 20-30 mins. It’s a great way to start the process and means both sides are fully ‘warmed up’ for when they have the interview itself. 

Story Locker can be recorded at home, which is just fantastic.  How is this possible for those who have no experience in recording podcasts, or the equipment used?  Aside from a computer, do you need anything else to take part in recording a Story Locker podcast?

Have no fear, you don’t need to have any podcasting experience, or to be tech savvy, to use Story Locker. We have made it as easy as possible for each customer. 

Before the main interview, we’ll send out your gift box, which includes a podcast mic you can plug directly into your computer, as well as a headphone set (all for you to keep afterwards too!). The box also includes a handy and clear manual for you to get started. 

To make it easier, we also have a tech producer on the call for each interview, who will talk you through the process, from plugging in the mic to ensuring the sound levels are perfect. All you need to do is to turn up. 

We’d recommend finding a quiet space in your home to do the recording, generally a bedroom or study. Not only do these cosy rooms have the best acoustics, but they should make you feel more relaxed too. 

Aside from your laptop, bring a glass of water as you’ll end up talking alot…and maybe some tissues for any emotional moments!

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I imagine for many people, it can be quite anxiety inducing when it comes to being interviewed.  This could be something that puts people off.  How is this part of the process made easy for those taking part?  Do you have any tips for our readers to ease that anxiety?

We completely understand that this will be a new experience for most. The first onboarding call with the customer is really important as it puts them at ease and – rest assured – our interviewers are great at doing this. 

Included in the gift box are some handy notes, which include the type of questions the customer may get asked so they can start to consider some of their responses. This is not a script by any means but it gets them thinking.

At the start of each interview, we’ll also have a few ice-breakers to make you as comfortable and relaxed as possible. 

What happens after the recording your memories?

Once your main recording is complete, the files will then be sent into our editing studio. You should receive your first draft within the first two weeks of recording. This will give you the opportunity to listen to your podcast and provide any feedback or changes you would like.  

After your first draft has been sent to you, one of our team members will compile your personalised show notes and a beautiful summary of your interview. 

Next, we’ll then present to you your very own “locker”. A branded landing page with your show notes and, of course, your studio-quality podcast. You will also have the opportunity to upload any photos and videos.  

You can then share your locker in a private and secure way to friends and family, ensuring it will live on for generations. 

If one of your family members decided to record a personal podcast in the future, or you want to record another, we can add it to the same locker, making the perfect family legacy. 

What is your favourite part about Story Locker?

I think there are a few favourites.

Personally, I love the fact that at each stage, we play a part in making someone’s story come to life. Our team takes immense pride in making the customer as comfortable as possible.

Second, seeing and hearing the reaction and feedback from our customers when they listen to the final podcast is incredible. It feels so good to have helped someone to tell their story, in their own words, that will live on in memory for multiple generations. 

Do you have any tips or tricks for budding podcasters reading this today? Whether they are creating memories or something else.

Yes, I always say to follow your passion. Talk about something you are truly passionate about and target an audience that will resonate with your passion. It doesn’t matter if it’s niche, as your audience will then be highly focused. 

Ensure you’re putting out credible content that is engaging,  consistent and tells a story. 

memories

The Wonder Collection

The Wonder Self-Care Journal! We believe self-care is vital to great mental health.  What is your go to self-care activity and why?

I have a huge passion for fitness and believe that making sure I set aside time to train – whether at home or at the gym – has really helped my mental as well physical health.

Spending time with my family is also hugely important. Trying to get a business off the ground means irregular work patterns, stress and the ever-present temptation to spend “just another few minutes” working on a task. Going on long country drives and exploring new towns and cities with my wife and two sons is the best way to mentally recharge the batteries. 

The Wonder Mix Tape! What song/artist do you find uplifting and listening to it/them boosts your mood?

I like listening to Fred Again, a British artist and producer who is incredibly talented. I find his music really uplifting and it’s usually my go-to when I need a boost of motivation.

The Wonder Bookshelf! Can you recommend a book to our readers.  Fiction, non-fiction, feel good or advice giving.  Why did you choose this book?

One book that I’ve read a number of times is by James Clear, called Atomic Habits. 

It’s a book that helps you to break any bad behaviours you might have and adopt good ones in a few easy steps. It shows how small, incremental modifications to everyday routines can translate into hugely positive change over time. 

It’s helped me, not only in my working life but also personal life – making changes that have delivered huge benefits. It’s about getting better each day by 1% and being consistent with it. 

The Wonder Sketchbook! Being mindful is not just rewarding but can also be a lot of fun.  Draw a self-portrait, draw a dog, a cat, rainbow, anything that comes to mind. 
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Competition Time

It’s here, another chance to get entries into our out of this world competition. We are also adding another prize. Today that is a Podcast Package from Story Locker! That’s right, you will be able to use the package to record some incredible memories to share with your family. In your prize bundle you will receive a voucher that has all the details on how to redeem your prize! Worth £495, this is such a fantastic prize for anyone to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget you can get more entries and improve your chances of winning this amazing prize with each article in the series. You can find more about them if you search WTMH? or check our competitions page.

We hope you’ll take time to listen to WTMH? What The Mental Health? Our brand new podcast available over on Apple. You can click the link above or find it on our homepage! Our first Episode ‘Introductions’ is available now and we will have new episodes each week!

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About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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