Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom

    The Compassionate Plymouth Movement

    The Compassionate Plymouth Movement was founded in January 2017 by a small group of local people keen to celebrate the culture of compassion already existing in the city and address areas in which compassion is needed.

    Plymouth Compassion in Diversity workshop61Plymouth Compassion In Diversity Workshop

    The beginning of the movement was marked by an event celebrating the local migrant and refugee community, as part of the national One Day Without Us festivities. Soon after an interfaith event took place with national charity Muslim Hands to launch the book Interfaith Dialogue from an Islamic Perspective.

    Designing the Compassionate Community Uni workshop141Designing the Compassionate Community Uni workshop

    Later the same year Hope in the Heart, a Charter Partner and CP’s founding organisation, was commissioned by Plymouth City Council to design and facilitate an Empathy in Schools programme to be trialled in local schools. The programme, entitled “Compassion in the Classroom”, focused on the principles of the Charter and global character education programme the Virtues Project. The four featured schools all signed the Charter for Compassionate Schools and staff training was delivered, introducing the Charter and the VP, with practical exercises and resources on how to create a compassionate school.

    Video: Compassion in the Classroom

    In 2018 Hope in the Heart received funding from the National Lottery Fund and others to provide workshops for local people wishing to become Compassionate Community Ambassadors, and representatives of organisations interested in adopting an ethos of compassion in association with Compassionate Plymouth.

    Health and Wellbeing workshop CP51Health and Wellbeing workshop

    All three projects were very successful and raised the profile of Compassionate Plymouth, with professionals from local universities, police, council, doctors’ surgeries, small businesses and a wide variety of charities taking part. As a result we have developed an ongoing relationship with the University of Plymouth School of Architecture, who are working in partnership with us on projects exploring Compassion in the Built Environment.

    HEART Plymouth CCA Tam21CP founder Tam Martin Fowles has spoken several times on BBC Radio Devon about Compassionate Plymouth and was their featured guest at the beginning of 2019 on “Pause for Thought” every morning for a week, talking about compassion. Her seven two-minute musings are reproduced in a blog here.

    A diverse CP steering group has now been created and The Compassionate Plymouth Movement has a committee and constitution, website and Facebook page, and many plans for the future. We have developed valuable connections with other budding compassionate communities in the UK and more established CCs elsewhere in the world, which we are confident will be beneficial and enriching for all.

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