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Compassionate Neighbours we need you

Innovative social movement builds friendships for life

According to a report published by the Jo Cox Commission, around nine million of us in this country always or often feel lonely, and amongst the elderly, as many as one in ten pensioners say they’ve not had regular contact or conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.

At St Joseph’s Hospice we’ve known for a long time that this is a massive problem, especially in East London, and that’s why we started the volunteer led Compassionate Neighbours social movement, supporting people with life-limiting illness or those nearing the end of life.

Compassionate Neighbours are trained by St Joseph’s and then matched with a community member, based on location, shared interests, culture and language. They provide social and emotional support and many of the matches build genuine and meaningful friendships.

The successful St Joseph’s model has inspired other hospices to adopt the project which will lead to more than 750 Compassionate Neighbours across London and the suburbs by the end of 2018.

To celebrate the success of the project and its expansion, aspiring Compassionate Neighbours, community members and anyone who is interested in learning more are invited to come along to the St Joseph’s on Wednesday 7th February from 5pm- 8pm. There will be drinks and nibbles, a chance to talk to some of the Neighbours, the team behind the project and how you can join the movement.

The East London project is being run by Richard Julian, Compassionate Neighbours Project Manager. He commented: “Loneliness is such a huge problem in itself, but for people nearing the end of their lives it can be very frightening. That’s why it gives me so much joy to see real friendships develop between the Compassionate Neighbours and their Community Members and see the positive impact it makes to their lives. It’s never too late to make a difference.”

Please contact Richard Julian if you would like to attend r.julian@stjh.org.uk.

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