Small things, big differences
These are difficult times. Together we are experiencing the cost of living crisis and an overwhelmed care system. As individuals, we can all experience difficult things like death, mental health issues, poverty or loneliness. Yet we are all deeply interconnected and it’s often the small things that make the biggest difference to help us through. Our compassion and our people are Sheffield’s greatest resource. Compassion can come from an individual, a community or an organisation. We are working with the people of Sheffield to harness this compassion and transform our city.
Compassionate Sheffield was formed in 2021, as part of the city's Health and Well Being Strategy. A Compassionate City is one which believes the care of its most vulnerable is everyone’s responsibility. Within that, compassionate communities and a civic approach support and improve the end-of-life experience such that all people affected by a death have their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs met in the most appropriate way possible. It was born of the concept of compassionate communities, pioneered by Professor Allan Kellehear, which aims to redress the medicalisation of end of life care and the Western disconnect from death and dying, bringing the knowledge and skills back into the communities in which we live and die.
Some of our projects
Culturally relevant resources for
Advance Care Planning
Partnering with the NHS, Opus and local community groups, we are investigating why communities within Page Hall, Burngreave and Firth Park tend not to share their end of life plans with NHS services, through Advance Care Planning.
By meeting communities where they are at and inviting people to coproduction workshops we have helped NHS services reach out to Sheffield’s Roma, Yemini and Pakistani communities.
Using captured interviews and themes identified through this process, we are creating culturally relevant information about Advance Care Planning for each community. These shareable videos will be promoted in specific places relevant to each community, as well as GP surgeries.
Support for navigating end of life
Partnering with local End of Life Doulas we have delivered training to staff from Mind, SCCCC and St Luke’s.
These staff members do not have roles that are focused on end of life, but through their life and work, they naturally interact with people who are dying or grieving.
The workshops are focused on improving confidence to provide practical and person-centred support. 100% of attendees shared that they have already applied what they learnt during the sessions.
During the next cohort, we will be delivering these sessions to volunteers and members of the public who are looking to develop their knowledge on this inevitable part of life.
More people talking about death
We have been working with community organisations such as Sheffield Hallam University, Heeley Trust, ShipShape and Newfield Green Library to facilitate safe spaces for people to explore the topic of death.
Each one of these participant-led sessions generate dierent conversations and support needs are not prescribed but instead emerge through conversation.
We are growing the movement of Death Cafes across the city and hosting sessions in February 2023 for people interested in facilitating their own.
In May 2023, we are running a series of events that are aimed at exploring and improving our relationship with death.
A compassionate approach to Sheffield's Covid memorial
Partnering with Sheffield City Council, Opus and thousands of people across the city we have co-ordinated the city’s memorial activity to ensure that it is collectively owned.
We have captured over 600 individual stories, awarded 54 community grants and hosted 18 targeted events with communities across the city that were underrepresented in other parts of the project.
All of the stories captured during this project will be stored in the city’s archives and some of these stories will be part of the Stories from the Pandemic exhibition at the Millennium Gallery.
By taking this decentralised approach, people and community have been at the heart of Sheffield’s Covid memorial activity.