Plymouth is working towards becoming an accredited Compassionate City, which will see the city council, St Luke’s Hospice and many other organisations working together to build emotional resilience in our community and ensure that the city is as compassionate a place to live and work as possible, for people nearing the end of their life as well as those left behind grieving.
The notion of Plymouth becoming an accredited Compassionate City came about in mid-May, after St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth hosted a Compassionate City at End of Life event as part of a Dying Matters conference. Over a hundred people from a wide range of organisations, from the arts to the NHS, to schools, solicitors and charities gathered to discuss ways of collaborating to make Plymouth more compassionate for those at the end of life or living with bereavement and loss. The conference’s call to action was to form an End of Life Compassionate Network which was willing to work towards the 14 aims of the Compassionate EOL Charter and so far, over 30 organisations have signed up to participate. A steering group and a number of operational groups have now been set up to look at how Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce is supporting the Compassionate Workplaces group and the Chamber is also on the steering group.
Deputy CEO of the Chamber Lesley Shorrocks commented:
“End of life care and dealing with death are issues many people wish to avoid discussing, but sadly we are all likely to be affected in one way or another, whether it concerns family members, friends or work colleagues. The devastating effects of illness and bereavement have repercussions for every aspect of our lives and for most of us; it’s not something we want to think about until we are forced to. A Compassionate City Charter would give organisations and businesses a framework to work towards, encouraging them to provide the kind of empathetic workplace support that those facing end of life issues and suffering loss would find most helpful, practical and caring.”
The Chamber is hosting a Crunchy Breakfast event on 7 November to explain more to businesses about progress on the Charter, with guest speakers Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care Plymouth City Council and Deputy Director of Clinical Services at St Luke’s Hospice, Gail Wilson who explains: “This charter is about how we can work together to extend the support we give to people at a most difficult time of their life.” To book on to this event please visit the events page on the Devon Chamber of Commerce website.
If you are a local business, large or small that would like to be involved with this initiative please please visit www.stlukes-hospice.org.uk/compassionate-communities/
and come along to hear more. Tickets are £12 + VAT for members and £24 + VAT for non-members and includes breakfast.