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Compassionate Communities

Getting frail or living with a long term illness is not only physically debilitating but can also lead to a person becoming socially isolated.

People can feel lonely in a town or in the country and such loneliness, over time, may lead to a crisis in someone’s health and well being as they become increasingly isolated from those around them.

Compassionate Communities is a local initiative to tackle such isolation and loneliness.

A Compassionate Community is one in which citizens support frail people and those living with long term illness to remain active members of the community, with the aim of reducing social isolation. The foundations of Co – Co are volunteers who undertake to support someone in their community for just a few hours each week.

It doesn't involve providing personal care but rather companionship and a willingness to help the person in practical ways to live their lives more fully, for example, visiting the local shops or attending an appointment together, reading the newspaper or playing Scrabble, helping them to deal with their post or doing a bit of gardening together – anything the person and their volunteer agree might be helpful. Volunteers are provided with initial training and on-going support by Severn Hospice.

As such it's not a service provided by an organisation but what citizens decide to do for them- selves supported by the Hospice.

Many people already provide such support for a friend or a neighbour and the support and training provided by Severn Hospice provides these people and new volunteers with the confidence to deal with day-to-day situations as they arise and an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other.

Compassionate Communities (Co-Co) has been developed by Severn Hospice as part of its community support strategy. For more details please contact the surgery on 01588 638285

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