Background A London hospice has played an important part at successfully developing a Compassionate Community in their area. With significant funding it will be replicating the project, working with up to seven other hospices or similar organisations in and around London. Part of the success of the project has been to reach communities who do not traditionally access hospice care. We want to extend this opportunity to other hospices also committed to issues of increased reach and equity.
Aims Our aim is to build a wider network of Compassionate Neighbours who are supporting people in their local communities; we will test and learn whether the success of the original London project can be replicated in other areas, and which ingredients are vital for success. Our ultimate aim is to create a social movement establishing a network of Compassionate Communities across the country, starting in London.
Methods The hospice will train and mentor other hospices to replicate the project in their own area. It will draw on the skills of compassionate neighbours as well as project leads. Our evaluation of the programme will form the basis of plans for a national roll out and inform reciprocal learning with other organisations also involved in large scale use of volunteers to address societal issues.
Results Our learning will confirm whether replication of this project is possible. We will be evaluating the quality and quantity of social connexions on the part of project participants and their relationships in their local communities and with their local hospice. We should have early results available for the conference.
Conclusion This is an important project focused on upscaling a successful hospice initiative. It will provide insights into the role of community participation in end of life and how hospices can be part of that.
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