Compassionate Neighbours

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Compassionate Neighbours is a volunteer-led project, working to help tackle loneliness and social isolation amongst local people who are living with a life-limiting illness, or who are experiencing frailty due to older age.
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Coronavirus Update:

Our Compassionate Neighbours project is still working to support local people who are facing social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our support is needed now, more than ever, during lockdown. Support is being given ‘virtually’ over the phone or by video call.

Contact the St Clare Compassionate Neighbours Project on cn@stclarehospice.org.uk or call Project Manager Stacey Towler on 07986971860 for more information.


For people living with a life-limiting illness or frailty, loneliness and social isolation can sadly become a very quiet reality. However, it is something that we can change – together.

The Compassionate Neighbours project aims to help tackle loneliness in West Essex and East Hertfordshire, through building a team of trained volunteers who each give an hour a week to offer social and emotional support to others who are isolated.

Could Compassionate Neighbours help you?

Do you have a life-limiting illness? Are you struggling with your mobility? Do you want to feel connected to your community?

By getting in touch with the Compassionate Neighbours project, you will have the opportunity to build a genuine friendship with a local person near you, who will visit and call you regularly.

Your Compassionate Neighbour will be ‘matched’ to you based on your common interests, lifestyles and experiences. Together, you’ll both benefit from a listening ear and emotional support as friends – and they will help you to stay connected with your community.

If you think that a weekly visit or phone call from a Compassionate Neighbour could benefit you, please get in touch. Any socially isolated person living in West Essex or East Hertfordshire, who is living with a life-limiting illness or experiencing frailty due to older age, is eligible to access this service.

Submit a referral form for Compassionate Neighbours

To put your name down for this project, you will need to submit a referral form and post or email it back to us. Please click here to download the referral form.

You can post it or email it back to us:

Compassionate Neighbours Project, St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood Road, Hastingwood, Essex, CM17 9JX

Email us at cn@stclarehospice.org.uk

If you are a local health or social care professional, friend or relative to someone you know who could benefit from the Compassionate Neighbours project, you are welcome to make a referral on their behalf with their permission.


Volunteer with the Compassionate Neighbours project

We are always looking for local people who can volunteer with us as Compassionate Neighbours!

Do you have an hour a week to catch up with someone in your community? Do you want to support someone who is isolated? Would you like to build friendships and feel part of a team?

Volunteering as a Compassionate Neighbour is rewarding role in which you build genuine friendships with local people who is socially isolated. We encourage you both to catch-up together, either on the phone or in person, at least once a week. You’ll be ‘matched’ based on common interests, lifestyles and experiences, both benefitting from a listening ear and emotional support as friends.

As a Compassionate Neighbour, you will be subject to a DBS check and will have access to free, mandatory training within your role – as well as support from your team of fellow volunteers. Please see below our up-to-date list of training dates.

If you’d like to put your name down to volunteer as a Compassionate Neighbour, please fill in the form below.

Training as a Compassionate Neighbour

Become a Compassionate Neighbour and support people during the coronavirus pandemic

Carolyn Johnson, Compassionate Neighbour, on the phone

We are looking for new volunteers to join the Compassionate Neighbours project to help us support even more socially isolated people during the coronavirus pandemic. Our training programme, which is usually delivered face-to-face to volunteers, has been adapted into a digital format and is being delivered in a series of online, interactive webinars via Zoom.

Our Compassionate Neighbours Training Programme is mandatory for everybody who would like to become a Neighbour within the project.

The training we provide covers everything from the wider initiative of reducing social isolation and loneliness in the local community, to how your role as a Compassionate Neighbour can help to achieve this. We will offer guidance and support in developing your skills and knowledge to help you carry out the role with confidence.

Compassionate Neighbours Training sessions are very relaxed and informal, encouraging you to participate in group discussions with other Neighbours and think about how you will fulfil your role. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any thoughts or queries you may have about your role and the project.

Our relaxed and welcoming training programme covers everything from the wider initiative of reducing social isolation and loneliness in the local community, to how your role as a Compassionate Neighbour can help to achieve this. We will offer guidance and support in developing your skills and knowledge to help you carry out the role with confidence.

Our training is delivered as a programme of individual modules, that cover all aspects of being a Compassionate Neighbour. It is essential that you complete all nine modules listed in the training programmes below. If you are unable to attend one or more of the dates in your chosen programme, please let us know and we can arrange for you attend the session(s) you will miss at another time.

During the coronavirus pandemic, all of our training programmes are delivered via Zoom. If you are not confident with using Zoom, please let us know as we can support you through practice sessions. 

Training Programme – January 2021

Session nameDateTime
Hello sessionMonday 4th January5.30pm
1What we do!Tuesday 5th January5.30-6.30pm
2Challenge your perceptionsWednesday 6th January5.30-6.30pm
3ExpectationsThursday 7th January5.30-6.30pm
4Tea with a CNTuesday 12th January5.30-6.30pm
5A good DeathWednesday 13th January5.30-6.30pm
6Safety FirstThursday 14th January5.30-6.30pm
7Common Sense PrevailsTuesday 19th January5.30-6.30pm
8Grief and lossWednesday 20th January5.30-6.30pm
9All about You!Thursday 21st January5.30-6.30pm

Get in touch

If you’d like to speak with a member of the St Clare Hospice team about Compassionate Neighbours, please feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Call us on 01279 773729 or 07986971860

Email on cn@stclarehospice.org.uk