Compassionate Communities Launch in Warrnambool VIC

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I was on the road last week in Warrnambool, a small, vibrant city at the end of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

The Warrnambool and District Community Hospice is leading a Compassionate Communities (ComCom) initiative as one of our GroundBreaker communities. The hospice is a volunteer run, not for profit service which provides social and palliative support for people who wish to die at home and their support networks.

We have encouraged and supported each of the GroundBreaker groups to have a public forum or event to launch the initiative and to get local engagement and input from the beginning. The last time I was in town was in October last year where the concept of ComCom was initially launched with community organisations and local government. It was a small but dynamic group and the feeling in the room was that there were a lot of local organisations who recognised the importance of this and would be up for continuing the conversation. So this time, the focus was on launching to the general public and rallying some wider support.

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The meeting was at the local bowling club, a great venue that does a lot to foster cohesive community. In attendance was about 35 people and we sat around tables over lunch. The purpose of the meeting was to further introduce ComCom, share more about what the hospice is doing in the community and to discuss how Warrnambool currently supports people who are dying, grieving, caring, isolated or in aged care and explore what gaps exist and how we might address them.

As with most of the initial ComCom meetings that I have had the privilege to attend, it was wonderful to see just how much already exists and explore how we could further amplify this and how to make this wealth of services/groups/networks more available to people in Warrnambool.

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One of the fantastic hospice volunteers is going to write up what was discussed and I look forward to learning about what is next!

Learn more about the hospice and the amazing service they offer here.

Holly

Holly Smith