Jacob Bailey & St Helena announce launch of Borderlands book

In partnership with North Essex based hospice St Helena, we are proud to announce the release of a new book, 'The Borderlands’.

The book features a moving collection of portraits and testimonies that capture the quiet dignity of a wide range of people who find themselves in the Borderlands between life and death at St Helena. It has been produced in collaboration with our client St Helena; an Essex based charity that provides terminally ill people with specialist care, as well as supporting their friends, family and carers.

The project began when Managing Partner Roj Whitelock took time to visit St Helena Hospice as part of the company’s annual volunteering day. Originally, he was planning to take photos of around half a dozen of the team members at the hospice. However, everyone was keen to get involved and soon those six photos became over 30 portraits.

The project quickly snowballed, with St Helena’s Media and Stories Lead Sarah Beer taking the time to interview everyone photographed and collating the deeply personal stories and experiences that sit alongside each of the photographs featured in the book.

The photographs and text content were then passed to Jacob Bailey’s Lead Designer, Lee Roberts, who set about bringing the stories to life into The Borderlands book.

St Helena’s Chief Executive, Mark Jarman-Howe, who contributed a foreword for the book, commented: “We will all directly and indirectly experience dying and death in our lives. Yet somehow, they remain mysterious and uncomfortable topics for many of us.

To confront the reality of dying and death, and to consider what it means to you and your attitude to life, requires a high degree of honesty and self-knowledge. To then share this insight and experience with others is a brave, generous, and deeply compassionate act. The participants in this book have shone a light into the Borderlands and provided a unique opportunity to reflect for ourselves on the fundamental question of what life and death means for each of us.”

We have a long-standing relationship with St Helena, completing the charity’s branding in 2017, as well as their rebrand in early 2023, including the creation of a new strapline - ‘For the people you love’. This underpins both the strong connection St Helena has with the local community and the incredible care and support they provide to people at a time when it is needed most.

Roj commented: “As a Managing Partner at Jacob Bailey, I’ve worked closely with St Helena Hospice for some time and always felt that portraiture could bring their story to life in a new and thought provoking way. Our annual volunteering days provided the opportunity to spend time at St Helena exploring the idea of ‘The Borderlands’ with patients, relatives, doctors, nurses and support staff alike.

We created a peaceful and safe space for everyone to reflect on their own personal experiences while being photographed and the day was truly humbling, intense and deeply thought provoking. As always, I was left in awe of the service and care that St Helena provide. Death is a day-to-day reality but is so rarely discussed. I hope this book helps both the living and the dying to talk more openly about death and bereavement and to feel less alone when those situations arise.”

See the Borderlands book for yourself here:

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