Development Opportunity

What is a Compassionate Community?

Relationships with people and place, play a central role in life. Our evolutionary development has depended on kindness and compassion and how we have cooperated and supported each other. Compassionate communities recognise that good social relationships play a major part in helping us to live long, healthy, happy lives. Compassionate communities use civic engagement and community development, public education, and make changes to the social and policy environment.  Compassionate Communities will concentrate on the experience of dying, death, loss and care.

What is a Compassionate City?

A compassionate city uses its networks and influences by collaborating and co-operating with all its citizens to develop and support social change around dying, death, loss and care.  Social change will happen in all its institutions and activities – including but not limited to: educational institutions, workplaces, places of worship, medical and health support establishments, cultural and leisure facilities, law enforcement institutions.  A compassionate city will demonstrate an understanding of how diversity shapes the experience of dying, death, loss and care – through ethnic, religious, gendered, and sexual identity and through the social experiences of poverty, inequality, and disenfranchisement.

How can I contribute?

A city wide collaborative group has been established to implement Compassionate City Charter status.  To ensure all aspects of the city are involved people are being invited to take part in a development programme hosted by Compassionate Community UK’s Director Julian Abel.  Anyone who is involved in formal or informal networks which could further the aims of Birmingham as a Compassionate City will be considered.  

The programme consists of a 6 week online course, covering the foundations of Compassionate communities and implementing the Compassionate City Charter. Each session will bring together people for a 90 minutes of lectures and discussions.  The programme is designed to prompt thought, provoke discussion and inspire change, and will have two main areas of focus:

  1. A clear understanding of what a Compassionate Community is, the benefits of it and the biological basis for it as well as understanding of the major components to implementation of the Compassionate City Charter. This includes understanding the practice methods and how to understand power relationships in relation to the charter
  2. Development of an implementation team with the aim, by the end of the programme, of having an action plan. Team relationships and identity, and the understanding of basic principles are key to successful implementation. Group dynamics will play an important role. The group will develop the plan, which will include a structural component of building and sense checking of priorities with local communities. A clear focus will be placed on making sure that these priorities are determined by the communities themselves, rather than assumptions made by formal services as to what they think the priorities should be.


  • Dates and time: Tuesdays 4th, 11th, 18th January – 1st, 8th, 15th February 3.30-5pm (there is no session on 25th January)
  • 20 places available (a waiting list will be kept for potential further courses)
  • Delegates should be able to attend all 6 sessions
  • No charge for delegates
  • Sessions delivered online via Zoom
  • Closing date for expressions of interest is 5pm Friday 31st December

Further information and the Expression of Interest form can be found below. 

If you have any questions please contact Helen Juffs on 07391 681 797 or [email protected].

If you would like to be considered for a place please complete the attached expression of interest form and return to [email protected]


Compassionate Communities Development Programme (pdf)

Compassionate Communities UK

Compassionate City Charter

Birmingham Compassionate City Development Programme – Expression of Interest Form