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Attending the compassionate communities network events were representatives from a range of local health and social care providers, charities and community groups. The network meetings will be used to share some of the local services, projects and activities that are supporting people experiencing death, dying and grief and to help identify how, as a compassionate community, everyone can work together to help meet the end of life care and bereavement support needs of the local community.
Greg Cooper, head of partnerships at St Helena, said: “Being part of a compassionate community is about looking out for others and making a difference where you can to those approaching end of life or grieving the death of a loved one.
“A key part of compassionate communities is having the conversations to overcome the stigma around dying, death and bereavement. We want to encourage people to talk to each other, to share their knowledge and stories, so they can help relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues and ensure everyone has access to the support they need before and after end of life.
“Involving and empowering local communities is so important, especially to help reach people who historically haven’t accessed or aren’t aware of the support available to them. It’s important we identify what the barriers are and remove them by listening to different groups of people and learning from them, so everyone within the community has access to the help they may need.”
Marjorie Appleyard, volunteer with the CVST Dementia Café, CCG Health Forum and Pastoral Asst. at St James's, attended the compassionate communities network meeting in Clacton. She said: “I am so pleased to see something positive like this happening for the community of Clacton and I will be encouraging others to get involved in Compassionate Clacton because I think together we can make a big difference to the people who are isolated and vulnerable and really do need help and support.”
Thomas Bell, from Age Well East, added: “The barrier to entry to key services through lack of knowledge is just heart-breaking and that’s why I’m so passionate about Compassionate Communities.”
To find out how you can support compassionate communities in north east Essex, contact Greg at St Helena by emailing email@example.com
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