Official recognition of Compassionate Uttoxeter

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People from across community and statutory organisations came together on Thursday 19 May at the Town Hall to celebrate the achievement of Uttoxeter passing the formal accreditation process to become a Compassionate Community.   

The event was both a thank you to everyone in Uttoxeter for the compassion shown, particularly over the last two years and an update on next steps as the work continues.  Uttoxeter’s Mayor Helen Headech received the award on behalf of the Town. “I am very honoured to stand here as Mayor of Uttoxeter and accept this award on behalf of the people of Uttoxeter, I’m looking forward to seeing how this movement grows and I’m looking forward to see how it benefits people of this community for years to come”.

Compassionate Communities UK is a charity that aims to, via a social movement and support to organisations and systems, create a more compassionate and equitable world particularly focused on issues to do with serious illness, care giving, dying and loss.  The Compassionate City Charter was designed to recognize that everyone and all sectors are essential in this aim.

Spearheaded by local GP Dr David Atherton, colleagues from across organisations demonstrated to the Compassionate Community UK Board that they have achieved sufficient progress across the thirteen Charter Standards and are committed to continuing this work.

The Compassionate Communities UK Board were really impressed by the range and depth of the work in Uttoxeter. Ed Straw, the Chair of Trustee said “Compassion reaches aspects of life inaccessible to government agencies and economic incentives. Congratulations to Uttoxeter and all those active now and in the future in supporting those facing serious illness, caregiving, death, and loss.  Have a look at the many ‘hows’ of this happening. I’m impressed”. 

Emma Hodges who supported the Uttoxeter team said “my favourite part of the accreditation process is what I describe as a treasure hunt, we had about 12 people from different walks of life on a zoom call and we talked through the standards and captured lots of the wonderful things already happening.  I’ll never forget that session, there is just so much going on in Uttoxeter and the energy and enthusiasm radiated out of the screen it was just fantastic.  The team go on to consider next steps building on what is already in place, I’m looking forward to seeing how this progress”.

Dr Atherton said “I’ve believed in the Compassionate Community approach for many years and have continued to promote and work towards it.  A ten-minute appointment with a GP, cannot substitute the compassion and connectedness found naturally in our communities.  With our partners such as Burton Albion Community Trust, Church Groups, St Giles Hospice, NHS partners, Support Staffordshire, Big Heath Community Centre and many others we have been able to bring together people who share this vision and will continue to move towards a societal model of wellbeing alongside health. 

This award is a thank you to the people of Uttoxeter for their compassion and resilience over the last couple of years.  We look forward to working with surrounding towns as we grow this movement across East Staffordshire”.