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Reading: Developing a Compassionate Community Compassionate Inverclyde


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Developing a Compassionate Community Compassionate Inverclyde


Alison Bunce

Compassionate Inverclyde, GB
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Compassionate Inverclyde: Compassionate Inverclyde is a local public health approach to palliative care. It is part of a global movement to change attitudes and behaviours around death, dying and bereavement and recognises that care for one another at times of crisis and loss is not simply a task soley for health and social services but is everyone’s responsibility.

Compassionate Inverclyde publicly encourages, facilitates, supports and celebrates care for one another during life’s most testing moments and experiences. In order for this to be achieved a community engagement and development approach has been used to engage, motivate and inspire ‘ordinary people to help ordinary people’. Every aspect of Compassionate Inverclyde has been organically grown and developed following public conversations and engagement.

The focus of development has been to enhance community capacity by developing and supporting social networks this includes peer and community support.

Community engagment and development has been carried out across all age groups and organisations within Inverclyde  involving schools, churches, workplaces, community centres, hospital, local hospice, youth groups and voluntary organisations.

One of Compassionate Inverclyde’s strengths is in the effective partnership arrangements  established at individual, community and multi agency levels however ongoing consultation with members of the public is the defining feature of this programme.

Compassionate Inverclyde aims to develop a compassionate community where everybody recognises that we all have a role to play in supporting each other in times of crisis and loss and that people are ready, willing and confident  to support each other in emotional and practical ways.                         

Ongoing consultation with members of the public is an integral feature of the programme. This is achieved primarily by working with people in their individual neighbourhoods to address particular needs related to death, dying and bereavement.

Different methods of engagement have taken place including focus groups, public meetings, meetings in community centres, schools, churches whereby people of all ages can get involved in conversations inorder to gather ideas from local people around how best to support people who are ill, at the end of life and the bereaved this has allowed local neighbourhoods to develop local solutions designed by local people.

Specific projects include:

1- Developing and delivering a transferable wellbeing programme which can be offered to patients and carers, but also to community groups, workplaces and schools.

2- Recruiting, training and developing volunteer "compassionate citizens" who will be able to support dying people and their families across the community in partnership with formal services

3- Undertaking awareness-raising and transformational work, initially with schools but also extending this to the wider population

4- Working with local businesses and workplaces to promote compassionate policies and processes aimed at supporting and equipping employees dealing with their own or a loved one's diagnosis and potentially end of life / bereavement.

It is intended that there will be a funded external evaluation of Compassionate Inverclyde in the near future. 

How to Cite: Bunce A. Developing a Compassionate Community Compassionate Inverclyde. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2018;18(s2):344. DOI:
Published on 23 Oct 2018.


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