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St Helena Hospice believes everyone has a role to play in supporting each other, particularly in times of health crisis or personal loss. 

Providing support to someone facing incurable illness or bereavement such as picking up a neighbour’s prescription, helping friends and family plan for the end of life, or checking that colleague are ok in times of distress, are all simple ways that we can help make a difference to others.

What is a compassionate community?

A compassionate community is a group of people who come together to help and support others experiencing death, dying or loss, with a shared goal to improve end of life care and bereavement support for everybody through kindness, compassion and action.

"By building a collaborative network, communities are in a stronger position to provide a collaborative response when a member of the community faces what may well be the most difficult time in their lives."  Greg Cooper, St Helena

Compassionate communities

How can you get involved?

Compassionate communities across north east Essex are coming together to help people develop the tools, confidence and resilience they need to provide support, empathy and a listening ear – and you can help too.

There are lots of ways that you can get involved at no cost, including sharing your experiences at local workshops, events and activities or attending free Compassionate Conversations training that help people to talk with others about death, dying or loss . 

You might be able to help organise group activities or awareness raising events, or become a Compassionate School or Compassionate Workplace. All of these support better end of life care for local communities and will help make a difference to those facing dying, death or bereavement.

Read more below or to find out more, contact us by email at or call St Helena Hospice on 01206 845566. 

Demystifying end of life care events 

The Compassionate Tendring network has organised a series of ‘Demystifying end of life care’ workshops that aim to help improve end of life care by breaking down barriers and demystifying taboos while sharing and learning from each other’s experiences. 

These workshops each have a different theme and include presentations and Q&A with subject matter experts, as well as group discussion about dying, death and bereavement. 

Anyone interested in learning more about end of life care options is welcome, including community residents, local organisations and services. Refreshments are provided.

Click here for event dates and booking information

Compassionate Conversations Awareness Training 

Compassionate Conversations is a free two-hour training session delivered in-person and online by the St Helena Bereavement Team, in partnership with St Elizabeth Hospice. 

This training is aimed at helping people to talk with others experiencing death, dying or loss by giving them the skills and confidence to enable open, honest and sensitive conversations. 

This training is held across the year with multiple dates available to book. 

If you're interested in hosting a Compassionate Conversations training session, please contact us by emailing 

Book your place for Compassionate Conversations Training
A group discussion at a recent Demystifying end of life care event Graphic of a diverse group of people sitting around talking

Compassionate Walks

Join Community360 Walk Motivator Shawn and other friendly walkers of all abilities on the first Thursday of every month for a walk around the Highwoods area, with refreshments provided afterwards. 

Compassionate Walks start and finish at St Helena Hospice, Barncroft Close, Colchester, setting off at 6.30pm. Parking is available. No need to book - just turn up! 

'Finding Your Feet' and 'Walking for Wellness' are supported walks organised by Community360 in the Colchester area that aim to meet the needs of those who may have previously felt less motivated or confident to attend. 

CVS Tendring support a number of regular group walks too. 

Find out more about compassionate walks

Demystifying end of life care for friends and family

You can now book a free awareness training visit for your community group, club or network if anyone you know is, or could become, a caregiver for family or friends experiencing incurable or life-limiting illness.

For more information or to book a visit please email or call us on 01206 646 275.


Compassionate Workplaces Awareness Training

Compassionate Workplaces Awareness Training from St Helena provides the practical tools and resources needed by employees to help support their workforce during life’s most difficult moments.

This practical 2 ½ hour session is aimed especially for line managers and HR teams – and will help build staff confidence and competencies, while supporting better long-term outcomes for businesses.

If you are interested in arranging Compassionate Workplace training for your organisation, please get in touch by emailing 

Learn more about Compassionate Workplaces Awareness training

Planning ahead and choices for care 

Empowering people to plan ahead, share their choices and achieve their end of life wishes is really important.

The My Care Choices Register is a record of a person’s decisions about the kind of care they wish to receive in the future if they were more unwell, and their preference for the place of care and we work with other local health and social care partners to promote this to people who are living with an incurable illness, dementia or frailty.

Learn more about My Care Choices

Essex Map 

If you or a loved one is facing incurable illness or bereavement and you're looking for other services and groups in your local community that can support you or them, Essex Map is a useful resource to use. 

You can search by category or by your own phrase i.e. 'grief support' or 'carer support' or 'lung disease' and you can see on the map what support is available near you.

Visit Essex Map

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from local residents, clubs, organisations, businesses, schools, and services who want to help local communities and people experiencing death, dying and loss. 

If you’re keen to find out more about how you can help grow a compassionate community in your neighbourhood, contact us on


Compassionate communities events


Compassionate Workplace Awareness Training


Multiple dates available

St Helena Hospice

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Compassionate Walks


Multiple dates available

St Helena Hospice, Barncroft Close, Colchester

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Compassionate Conversations

23/02/2023 - 05/12/2023

Multiple dates available

Location varies

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Demystifying end of life care - A Compassionate Tendring network event series

22/02/2023 - 19/07/2023

Multiple dates available

Monthly event; location varies

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If you’re currently using or have ever used any of our services, you can offer valuable feedback and insight into how we can improve patient care and support for families.

Join our Service User Group

Find out more
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