Compassionate Communities Pembrokeshire

What is a Compassionate Community?

A Compassionate Community is a community that is at ease with itself in talking about ageing, sickness, dying and bereavement and is a community development approach to end of life care.  It directly involves citizens in planning for their own end-of-life care and to support them to address their concerns and to find their own solutions to living and dying well.

Generally speaking, planning for our future care-needs, involves talking about death, dying, caring and grief and this is a topic that is not addressed very well by the general population. In addition there is a lack of facilitated support to enable individuals, families and groups to talk about these issues together and to take control, responsibility and co-produce our own health care plans in the future.

Why is a programme of activities needed?

  • Death, dying, loss and care affect everybody
  • The majority of people living and eventually dying from advanced life limiting illnesses spend the greater part of their time at home being cared for and supported by family members, friends and neighbours (Community based)
  • Many people feel unprepared when faced with the experiences of advanced, life-limiting illnesses, death and bereavement and are uncertain as how to offer support and assistance
  • They are experiences that bring with them additional personal, health and social costs which are preventable and/or relievable if the right supports are available in the right place at the right time

What we are doing?

We are developing a range of activities in 4 local communities in Pembrokeshire, namely Saundersfoot, Pembroke/Manorbier, Letterston and Brynberian. These thought provoking, fun! and interactive activities are aimed at enabling the people living in these communities to talk more about living well and dying well (Death, Dying, Loss and Caring).

This is a Community Developmental approach to a real Public Health issue and all our activities enable communities to enhance their collective Social Capital (in terms of Trust, Empathy and Cooperation).  The activities we are facilitating include:

-          Cymunedol Tosturiol ‘/ Compassionate Community Café, Brynberian, this meets every Tuesday morning in the Community Hall and involves tea, cake and conversation on all issues relating to planning for our future care. (see poster attached)

-          Compassionate Community Film Club in Jameston/Manorbier, showing monthly humorous films on the subject of death and dying along with soup, bread and copious tea and cake! (see poster attached)

-          Think about it, Talk about it and Write it down, a series of workshops to support people to plan for the future and to write a statement of their wishes and to share this with their GP and Family (Advance Care Planning), see poster attached.

-          Pembroke Dock Coffin Making Club: This is a fun and interactive approach to talking about our experiences of loss, caring and bereavement. It is aimed at men in particular and in partnership with the Pembroke Dock Men Shed. This will start in March 2018.

Planned future activities:

-          Talks and workshops on DIY Funerals: The cost of arranging funerals is ever increasing and pushing many families into debt, this fun workshop will aim to support people to plan an affordable funeral and address the many myths around funeral planning.

-          Welsh Baccalaureate Foundation (Post-16), (Community Development): Offer Students/Pupils aged 16/17 an opportunity to learn about the issues of death and dying and how they affect young people alongside raising funds for the Pembrokeshire Hospice movement.

-          Compassionate Community Charter: Support Communities to devise their own Charter on how they will support each other around living and dying well.

For more information contact : luke@community   Mob: 07908860061

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