Services

Compassionate Communities – Reach Out

reach-out

What is it?

Compassionate Communities – Reach Out is a pilot project underway in the North West.

Together we are stronger

We are here to support you with issues about illness, dying and loss – whether you are a member of the public, a voluntary group, a community organisation, a service provider, a local authority, a health organisation, an educational institution or a faith group who wants to remove the taboo and change attitudes and behaviour.

Trained volunteers (Compassionate Neighbours) provide weekly contact to people who have become isolated as a result of illness. Volunteer involvement is geared towards encouraging the person out of the house. It might be as simple as going for a cup of tea, enjoying a shared interest, doing a bit of shopping or a trip to the local community centre.

It is a befriending scheme and the role of the Compassionate Neighbour is to offer companionship not social care.

The service is available to anyone living in the pilot area whose ability to engage in their community is limited by frailty or advanced medical conditions and in addition meet at least one of the following referral criteria – live alone, no immediate family nearby, recently arrived in the community, bereavement of partner or significant carer within the last 5 years, more than two chronic conditions, have a carer in need of respite.

The pilot is based in the Waterside. It is being delivered in partnership by Hillcrest Trust, Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group, Foyle Hospice and the 3 GP practices based in Waterside Health Centre.

How do people get referred?

A GP or other Health and Social Care Professional identifies a patient who meets the referral criteria and who they feel would benefit from a weekly visit from a Compassionate Neighbour. We can also take referrals through Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group and Hillcrest Trust.

How To Become A Compassionate Neighbour

The next step to becoming a volunteer involves a short process starting with the completion of the following forms:
Volunteer Enrolment Form
Access NI Disclosure

On completion simply post to Tracy Gray, Project Facilitator, Foyle Hospice, 61 Culmore Road, L’Derry, BT48 8JE. On receipt you will be invited to an informal meeting to discuss what you want to gain from you volunteering experience and current opportunities. All enrolled volunteers receive 2 days training to support them in their new role, to see the training outline please click here.

Want to find out more

To volunteer contact:
Tracy Gray
Project Facilitator
Tel: 02871 351010
Mobile: 07841101932
Email info@compassionatecommunitiesnw.com

Compassionate Communities in the North West

Sculpture by Mary McLaughlin

What is Compassionate Communities?

Compassionate Communities aims to help people to think about, talk about, plan ahead and offer practical support within the community to each other in relation to living, aging, dying and loss. Talking about these things can be difficult, often we do not know what to say or do but talking can make things a little easier for everyone.

Compassionate Communities is a public health approach to end of life care. It aims to enable all of us to live well within our communities to the very end of our lives.

A public health approach identifies that end of life care is a collective responsibility. It is a social as well as a medical issue. Our healthcare system ensures that people living with advanced illness receive appropriate medical interventions but most people spend the majority of their time being cared for by family members, friends and neighbours providing important social support.

Together we are stronger

We are here to support you with issues about illness, dying and loss – whether you are a member of the public, a voluntary group, a community organisation, a service provider, a local authority, a health organisation, an educational institution or a faith group who wants to remove the taboo and change attitudes and behaviour.

We have started talking about end of life

  • A conference: Tackling Frailty and End of Life through Community Resilience – A Public Health Approach to Living Well at the Everglades Hotel Derry/Londonderry 18th February 2016
  • An Art Exhibition – One Day at the Garden of Reflection Gallery, Bishop Street 11th -25th February 2016

Bill’s Story Let’s Talk Series

Bill’s Story is a touching and beautiful animation of Bill’s journey as he lives with serious illness and faces the end of life. It explains what we mean by Compassionate Communities and shows that together we are stronger as we deal with some of life’s most important challenges. Depicting an emotional journey – for some this may prove upsetting. To appreciate Bill’s Story you will need 10 minutes, access to speakers and a quiet place.

Video

We are grateful to Milford Care Centre Compassionate Communities for permission to use Bill’s Story.