“True stories are…nutritious and sustaining. They feed the mind with information and the heart with hope and strength.”
Sir Phillip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, said this about healthtalk.org (then known as Healthtalkonline) in 2008 and the quote adorned the homepage of the site for many years.
The Dipex Charity and healthtalk.org were founded around a belief in the power of real people’s stories. When faced with their own health challenges, our founders Dr Ann McPherson and Dr Andrew Herxheimer wanted to hear what other people had experienced, so they knew what to expect. Frustrated by only being able to find sensational articles about cancer survivors who defied the odds to cycle across France, they decided to collect and share the more common stories.
Their aim was to help others who might find themselves in the same situation. They decided to collect the stories through a rigorous research process and share them using a new technology that was taking the world by storm; the world wide web! Five years before even YouTube launched, the dipex website (later healthtalkonline, now healthtalk.org) went live with hundreds of videos of people sharing their stories. The Dipex Charity was founded to run the website.
In March we celebrate 20 years of the Dipex Charity and healthtalk.org. Sir Phillip Pullman has kindly agreed to speak at this years’ Ann McPherson Memorial Lecture about the importance of stories.
The lecture takes place on February 25th hosted by Green Templeton College. Find out more and register here and if you are able, please donate to us to support our work.