North Warwickshire to benefit from Compassionate Communities

Mary Ann Evans Hospice and Grapevine, through the Warwickshire Cares Better Together programme, are launching a pilot service in north Warwickshire which will see residents of Atherstone and Mancetter benefit from the development of compassionate communities.

A compassionate community is an approach to end of life care which highlights that death, dying and bereavement do not happen in isolation; instead a compassionate community encourages communities to support each other through the differing and varied stages of death.

In doing so, the service hopes to improve the quality of life for those approaching death – allowing individuals to live out their later years in a manner which reflects their personal choice.

A compassionate community intends to move away from a culture which focuses on negative connotations surrounding death, to a community which accepts death, dying and loss as a social issue – lessening the burden on health and social care services being solely responsible for offering support at a time of crisis or loss.

In developing a compassionate community, it is expected that the communities of Atherstone and Mancetter will build the capacity to show that its residents can offer support for one another in a time of crisis or loss. A successful compassionate community intends to:

– See death, dying and bereavement not as a taboo subject but a subject which is normalised within conversations in society;

– Death being managed in a more positive light would lead to individuals perspective of death changing.

Alongside ‘compassionate friend’ trained volunteers, a community organiser will be appointed to mobilise the local community and engage them in a dialogue about death and dying, care at end of life and the role that the community can play.

A compassionate community is personal to its locality, there is no fixed approach and the providers – Mary Ann Evans Hospice and Grapevine – will work closely with community partners and community residents in order to determine the approach which is best suited to them.

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