Cannock Chase District Council is celebrating being awarded Compassionate Community status.

Categories: Community Engagement.

The community was given the honour by Compassionate Communities UK (CCUK) at a ceremony which took place on May 23rd.  CCUK Trustee Manjula Patel said the accreditation recognised the fantastic work which is done on a daily basis in the community to provide and facilitate support for those affected by life-threatening illness, chronic disability, grief and bereavement.

“Today’s award really is a celebration of the efforts of so many elements of the community to support each other, from schools and places of worship to workplaces and in health and social care,” she said.

“The Compassionate Community accreditation process encourages communities to explore what is already there to support people through death, dying, bereavement and care and to look at what they need to create, connect and have conversations about.

“In Cannock Chase we’ve not only seen some amazing work done which has led to the accreditation, there are also exciting plans for the future to build on these successful networks and grow the movement even more.”

Some of the highlights of the projects were:

  • Two bereavement charities for children, young people and parents (Windmills and A Child of Mine) and bereavement training for schools
  • The Places of Welcome network – drop-in cafes where people can feel safe, belong and contribute
  • Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, which offers sports, outdoor recreation and creative activities to support physical health and wellbeing
  • Memorials, memorial services and gardens, which give people a space to reflect and grieve
  • Fiveways Ramblers, a group which encourages friendship and reduces isolation by meeting weekly for walks and social activities

Cannock Chase’s Compassionate Communities Network includes individuals from the, NHS, Voluntary and Community Sector and Local District and County Council.

Valerie Jones, Councillor for Cannock West Ward said:

“Achieving accreditation with Compassionate Communities UK for Cannock Chase District is an important milestone and a first step in assuring accessible and sustainable support for residents and their families when dealing with the issues of death and dying, especially those who are vulnerable and alone.

“The mapping across Cannock District of community resources has enabled us to identify the current level of support, facilitates networking and aid development to address any gaps.

“It aligns well with the community development approach to Health and Wellbeing that underpins the Cannock Chase Can Project where death and dying has now been added as a theme.

“I would like to thank all the partners involved in the South West Partnership Group including the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board,  Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPUFT) and Support Staffordshire for their support, expertise and fellowship in achieving this first step.”

Mark Cardwell, Care Integration and Partnerships Director at the Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust added:

“It has been a real privilege to work with Compassionate Communities UK and our local network of like-minded leaders in Cannock Chase.

“Achieving ‘Charter Status’ has been an eye opening experience in seeing how much support the Cannock Chase community provides and being able to engage and connect with the treasures in our community to ensure we can all talk about death, dying and loss in a meaningful and supportive way remains our focus moving forward.”

Last year, Birmingham became the UK’s first accredited Compassionate City. Brereton and Ravenhill, which is part of Cannock Chase, were the first community to receive Compassionate Community status and Cannock Chase is the first local government district to do so.



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