Date published: Thursday 2nd August 2018 | 10:00 GMT
This August, we are celebrating 6 months of success for our Compassionate Neighbours project here at St Clare!
This August, St Clare Hospice will celebrate 6-months of success for our Compassionate Neighbours programme, after the project’s launch in February 2018.
Compassionate Neighbours is a community-led project, where volunteers support local people throughout West Essex and East Herts who are living with a life-limiting illness, or who are experiencing frailty, loneliness or social isolation. The award-winning programme, originally founded by St Joseph’s Hospice in East London in 2011, has now been established in a total of eight hospices across the UK.
Since the launch of the Compassionate Neighbours project at St Clare, we have successfully recruited 23 volunteers throughout our catchment area, who each offer their time, companionship and a listening ear to people living in their community who are coping with illness, old age or loneliness.
St Clare hopes to recruit 50 Compassionate Neighbours within the first year of the project, calling on caring members of the public from the Uttlesford District, Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth, Harlow and Epping Forest areas, to come forward and join the ranks of our volunteers.
The project aims to be mutually beneficial for both the Compassionate Neighbour and the Community Member, with pairs being ‘matched’ based on their shared likes, interests and experiences.
St Clare’s Compassionate Neighbours Manager, Stacey Towler, said:
“The important thing is that the relationship between a Compassionate Neighbour and a Community Member is equal. It is not about a person having care or a service ‘done to them’ – but about two people connecting and sharing time together in a way which has a positive impact on both of their well-beings.”
“We all know what it is like to feel lonely. However, some people in the local community must endure this quiet reality every, single day. Luckily, there are amazing initiatives like the Compassionate Neighbours project that aim to tackle social isolation and loneliness and to reach those who could benefit from its support. Our volunteers help others by visiting people in the community regularly; offering companionship and emotional support; helping them to do the things they like doing; and helping them stay connected to the community as well as family and friends.”
New volunteers will be provided with a full training programme, free of charge. The training courses are informal, fun and inspirational, giving volunteers the opportunity to explore how they can use their compassion to help others and give them the confidence to support people in their community.
Please note that you must be over 18 to volunteer for this service. St Clare Hospice will carry out a relevant DBS check and you must be willing to give up your time on a regular basis.
Become a Compassionate Neighbour!
To find out more about becoming a Compassionate Neighbours project contact the Compassionate Neighbours Project Manager, Stacey Towler, on 01279 773279 or visit stclarehospice.org.uk/care/compassionate-neighbours/