Compassionate Communities is a scheme developed by Severn Hospice as part of their community support strategy, but run and delivered by local volunteers. It aims to provide a befriending service for those people who may be in danger of becoming socially isolated from the community they have been part of due to becoming frail, housebound or living with a long term illness. Such contact has been shown to have beneficial effects upon health and well-being.
Severn Hospice at Home have already helped over 15 Shropshire communities to implement their own projects, often in conjunction with their local medical practices. Readers may recall a report on this website earlier in the year, when Paul Cronin from the Hospice spoke at the Lyon Hall. He cited two of the most frequent answers to the question, “What would make the most difference to your quality of life?” as being “It would be nice if someone called in to see me,” and “There is no public transport, so I can’t get out to see people any longer.” He went on to show how social isolation can lead to chronic loneliness, then spoke of trained Co Co volunteers becoming involved in a person’s life, visiting or phoning them regularly, sharing their interests and generally helping them to keep in touch with their community.
Several local volunteers signed up around that time, and after some months of preparation to complete the necessary DBS checks, training sessions and other administrative requirements, we are pleased to inform you that Hodnet Compassionate Communities (Co Co) is now “open for business”. We hope to be able to cover Hodnet and surrounding areas depending on uptake and availability of volunteers, and are currently trying to raise our profile to that end.
For more information, including our contact number, do have a look at our web page.