Compassionate Isle of Man, a Hospice Isle of Man initiative that aims to encourage kindness and compassion in the local community, celebrated its first anniversary recently at the Sefton Hotel, with an event attended by community volunteers, local corporates, members of the emergency services and the Minister for Health and Social Care, David Ashworth. The Compassionate Isle of Man initiative is part of Hospice’s ambitious 5 year strategy, ‘Much more than a building’ and is aimed at connecting people in the local community, promoting wellbeing, building resilience and encouraging kindness.
When the initiative launched in 2018, it was the first organisation on the Island to celebrate World Kindness Day and worked with local schools, Government Ministers and local businesses to highlight and encourage people, society, and the community to do good things and be kind to everyone. One of Compassionate Isle of Man’s primary objectives is to undertake good deeds in the community focusing on the common thread of kindness that binds us all.
Commenting at the event, Compassionate Isle of Man lead, Wendy Smith said:
“Recognising the importance of encouraging communities to come together to support each other and create a compassionate culture on the Island has been a primary focus for us over the past twelve months. Something as simple as getting to know an elderly or disabled neighbour who lives on their own and asking them if there is anything you can do to help, can make a huge difference to their lives. Compassion extends to all areas of everyday life and small gestures such as offering to help a carer to walk their dog or babysit for a few hours so they can have some respite can have a massive impact on the wellbeing of that individual.”
Earlier this year, the Hospice initiative launched its very successful ‘Back Home Boxes’. These are small care packages, the size of a bag for life, filled with essential groceries for someone leaving hospital or Hospice who have been identified as being potentially vulnerable and living alone. The boxes contain items that might be needed when initially returning home and have been generously supported by local supermarkets the Co-Op and Tesco. Local schools and Hospice volunteers have also been involved in producing handmade knitted blankets for the boxes in their ‘Knit-and-Knatter’ groups and a Welcome Home card from a school child wishing them a speedy recovery and to get well soon.
Anne Mills, Chief Executive of Hospice Isle of Man commented:
"The support Compassionate Isle of Man has so far received has been fantastic and wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful and dedicated volunteers. Since launching the initiative, 23 specially trained volunteers have been able to provide vital support to specific compassionate initiatives across the Island including ‘Palliative Care Companions’ and ‘Carrey son oilley ec y jerrry’, which is the Manx Gaelic for ‘A friend to the end’. We were very aware of many elderly and vulnerable people living alone with limited family members for support, and our friend to the end initiative provides support to people at home who are in crisis or dying."
Compassion extends to all areas of everyday life and small gestures of kindness can have a significant impact on our community. Compassionate Isle of Man encourages our community to recognise the importance of being compassionate, supporting people, schools and business to come together to support each other and create a compassionate culture on the Island.