Compassionate Communities Books

Compassionate Communities Books

The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking – Governance in a Climate Emergency by Ray Ison and Ed Straw

A persuasive, lively book that shows how systems thinking can be harnessed to effect profound, complex change.

In the age of the Anthropocene, the need for new ways of thinking and acting has become urgent. But patterns of obstacles are apparent in any action, be they corporate interests, lobbyists, or outdated political and government systems. Ison and Straw show how and why failure in governance is at the heart of the collective incapacity to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies. They go beyond analysis of the problem and demonstrate how incorporating systems thinking into governance at every level would enable us to break free of historical shackles. Included as an example of excellence is The Frome Model, using quality improvement methodology for change management, demonstrating that systems change can come from the ground up.

The Compassion Project – a true story of a town that beat loneliness by Dr Julian Abel and Lindsay Clarke

‘It could… be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? A device? A surgical procedure? No, it’s a newfangled intervention called community.’ George Monbiot, The Guardian

Frome in Somerset has seen a dramatic fall in emergency hospital admissions since it began a collective project to combat isolation. While emergency admissions to hospitals across Somerset have increased by 29%, incurring a 21% increase in costs, Frome has seen admissions fall by 17%, with a 21% reduction in costs.

Society has developed in such a way to facilitate a drastic malnourishment of community, connection and compassion. This book sets out the case for the effective restoration of the active power of compassion as a widely available, fundamental force for good in all aspects of human life. In the process, it draws attention to research which demonstrates that an innate capacity and need for compassionate behaviour is closely woven into the fabric of our bodies.

But this is also a book with stories to tell – the stories of how, by harnessing thethe power of compassion in the lives of real men and women, the small English town of Frome has opened up a new approach to the practice of medicine which has improved individual health and welfare while at the same time enhancing the vitality of the whole community. The effects of this approach have proved so beneficial that it has attracted international attention and is now transforming perspectives on issues of healthcare and social welfare across the world.

Compassionate Cities: Public health and end of life care by Allan Kellehear

Once it was difficult to see end of life care beyond conventional medical intervention, but hospice and palliative care introduced a more holistic approach, providing quality of life for the dying and their families. This ground-breaking work takes end-of-life care beyond these palliative boundaries, describing a public health vision that involves whole communities adopting a compassionate approach to dying, death and loss. Written by a leading academic in the field of death and bereavement, this text outlines the historical, political and conceptual basis of compassionate cities, providing a community development model for end-of-life care.

Moving away from infection control and health promotion Allan Kellehear invites us to think of a third wave movement of public health, joining empathy, equality and action together as practical policies. Presenting a radical new perspective to death, ageing and public health, Compassionate Cities is essential reading for academics and professionals alike.

To find out more about the Compassionate City Charter, click here.

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