Compassionate Communities

A Movement that’s Global….and Growing

At its most basic, the idea of people helping people is global. In Canada, the compassionate community movement, a model of the public health approach to palliative care, has already garnered considerable support on a regional, provincial, and national level, establishing the country as a leader of the movement.

A Compassionate Community …

… is a group of caring people who are passionate and committed to taking an active role in improving the well-being of individuals going through tough times, like serious illnesses, caregiving, end-of-life situations, and grief.

… focuses on the emotional, social, spiritual, and day-to-day needs of people facing these challenges. 

…. makes sure everyone understands what others are going through.

… empowers people to have a say in their own care.

… their work is guided by their community’s unique vision and goals.

Mobilizing Compassionate Communities in BC

The Compassionate Communities movement was ignited in British Columbia in 2015 with a visit from Dr. Allen Kellehear, the international leader of the movement.

In 2016, BCCPC took the lead to create a network of compassionate communities across BC. The first step was to launch the Seed Grant Program, with the endorsement of over 40 community-based organizations as well as key palliative care and public health leaders.

In addition to seed funding, the program provides training, tools and coaching for community-based organizations to help them start building on compassionate community ideas.

To date, over 120 compassionate community initiatives across the province have been sponsored and supported by BC Centre for Palliative Care, with half being in rural and remote areas of BC.

The Compassionate Communities movement in British Columbia has seen a surge in momentum since the highly successful inaugural hybrid Compassionate Communities Symposium in 2022. The event, titled“All Together – Fostering Resilient Compassionate Communities through Connection and Inspiration” has been a significant catalyst for this growth.

Information about the 2024 All Together Symposium – will be posted soon.

Click on the Seed Grants button for more information about current funding opportunities. 

All Together Online Sessions

Interested in sharing your experiences and learning more about Compassionate Communities? These one-hour sessions provide opportunities for participants – Individuals, community groups, and healthcare providersto share their knowledge and experiences.

Go to ECHO for information on upcoming sessions and how to register. 

Compassionate Communities in B.C. at a glance

Our province-wide compassionate communities’ consultation put a spotlight on the current state of compassionate community work in BC. From insights, to innovations, strengths, and challenges, you’ll find lots to explore in this compact report.


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