Colchester awarded Compassionate City status

PUBLISHED: 26 June 2024

Colchester now has national recognition as the first Compassionate City in the East of England, which community champions believe will inspire more people to be kind and compassionate to others in need of support during life’s most difficult moments.

Local groups, workplaces, organisations, businesses, clubs, and community hubs are all part of a Compassionate Colchester network that has been working collaboratively towards Compassionate City status. An assessment from the national charity Compassionate Communities UK confirmed the kindness and compassion being shown to people confronted with serious or life-limiting illness, ageing, caregiving, loss, and isolation.

Many residents are part of the Compassionate Community network, including Janice Longe. She said: “Someone’s final months or year of life, and that of their carers, can be made much easier with the kindness and compassion of people they meet on a day-to-day basis. We can all play a part, however small, sometimes without realising it, by just saying hello and starting a conversation or by dropping off a pint of milk when someone can’t leave the house.”

Acknowledging yet more can be done, Compassionate Colchester is also launching a Compassionate Champions initiative to recognise and celebrate people, projects, groups, or places that help improve the lives of others facing serious or life-limiting illness, ageing, caregiving, and loss through social connectedness, kindness, and compassion.

Cllr David King, Leader of the Council, said: "It’s great to see national recognition for the tireless work providing end-of-life and serious illness support. Let's all build on this momentum by expanding the network of care and kindness. Answer the call from the Compassionate Colchester network and nominate your Compassionate Community Champions. These can be the people, places, and projects that have made a positive difference for you and your loved ones. Perhaps it's a resident looking out for neighbours, a community group offering friendship and support, or a business that compassionately cares for its staff and customers. By sharing these stories, we can raise awareness and make it easier for those in need to find the support they deserve.”

St Helena Hospice has helped coordinate a Compassionate Colchester network of support that led the bid.
Greg Cooper, Partnerships and Community Development Manager at St Helena, said: “So many incredible people have come together to show what a caring city Colchester is, and we can support even more people by demystifying myths and taboos around dying, death, and bereavement, building confidence and skills, and growing networks of support.”

To celebrate the success, a celebration event is being held on Wednesday, 10 July at Greenstead Community Centre from 10am to 12noon. The event will include presentations, entertainment, and complimentary tea and coffee. Everyone is welcome. Register your attendance here.

Page last reviewed: 26 June 2024


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