Submitted by Tam Martin Fowles
Compassionate Cornwall – Update and Overview
November 2014 saw the launch of Compassionate Cornwall at the Eden Project and the signing of the Charter for Compassion by significant local community members and leaders (listed here: http://www.hopeintheheart.org/charter-for-cornwall-signatories.html).
The document they physically signed is the Charter for Compassion for Cornwall, an adaptation of the original Charter for Compassion, which includes some additional conditions relevant to our local campaign. http://www.hopeintheheart.org/the-charter-for-compassion-for-cornwall.html. All who signed this also agreed to the entire text of the international Charter for Compassion. Our original focus and aims can also be found at the link above.
After The Compassionate Cornwall Initiative was initially registered, in August last year, the huge swell of interest, mainly from Voluntary and Community organisations (NGOs) in Cornwall exceeded all expectations. Around 35 organisations registered within three months, and sufficient local leaders and significant community members were willing to sign the charter for us to decide to have a signing at the launch of the initiative on 14th November (during International Compassion Week).
Although initially there was a group of people planning to share the organising of all of this, Tam Martin Fowles, Hope in the Heart CIC, who had registered Cornwall and expected developments to be relatively slow, was the one able to adjust her work schedule and devote a lot of time to its sudden, rapid progression. Therefore Compassion Cornwall did not start out with a solid steering group and action plan as might otherwise have been the case.
With the support of Charter for Compassion International organisers, Tam decided to go with the wave of interest, rather than stem its flow, and with others offering valuable help where they could, the launch and signing were joyful and successful; a true community achievement.
Following the event, Tam took a step back to explore with other partners how best to move forward to the next stage. Over several months, she had discussions with some of the larger partner organisations about the possibility of them project managing and administrating the initiative, and helping to obtain funding, but these did not bear fruit.
Eventually it was decided to form a steering group consisting of people who feel passionately about the ethos of the Charter and aims of the community initiative, even though we currently have no funding and less time than we would like to devote to this.
The group consists of five women with a variety of skills. The group formed in May, six months after our signing. We meet approximately every six weeks, and are working on our Action Plan to take Compassionate Cornwall forward.
The initiative has been renamed “Compassionate Cornwall” and a new logo has been designed and approved. Compassionate Cornwall currently has web pages on the Hope in the Heart website, but it is hoped that we will be able to develop an autonomous website and social media presence in the near future.
Compassionate Cornwall has over 40 partner organisations (listed here: http://www.hopeintheheart.org/compassionate-cornwallcharter-for-compassion-international-partners.html).
There has been little new movement since the launch and signing, although Cornwall now has three compassionate schools. We have decided not to actively try to re-engage existing partners or encourage new ones until we have a solid new presence to announce, with resources and a comprehensive action plan.
Current members and roles are as follows:
Tam Martin Fowles (of Hope in the Heart CIC) CC Ambassador.
Contact Address: 22 York Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 2PW
Soozie Tinn (of Hope in the Heart CIC) Acting secretary
Claire Lucas (of Art of Ceremony) Chair
Liz Sullivan (of Whole Again Communities) West Cornwall Partners Co-ordinator
Tamzin Woods (of Refugee Support) Role to be assigned
We hope to engage other members with relevant skills, and we acknowledge the current lack of diversity within the group. We would be delighted to welcome members to represent the youth, male, and other sectors of our community.
We also expect to make some changes in the near future to incorporate the unprecedented swell of compassionate action and new groups in Cornwall supporting refugees.
Compassionate Cornwall’s current goals are to:
- Continue working on the evolution of a strong, effective and diverse steering group to take the initiative forward.
- Create a comprehensive Action Plan in accordance with the Charter Toolbox.
- Transfer Compassionate Cornwall’s online presence from the Hope in the Heart website to its own site and a group Facebook page for all partners of CC. Resurrect and effectively activate the Twitter account.
- Create an introductory resource pack to send to partners upon receiving their registration.
- Unite partners to progress most effectively in the areas in which compassionate action is most needed in our community, focusing particularly on the following aims:
- To build a culture that firmly embraces and celebrates diversity.
- To inspire and support Cornwall's young people, through education and personal development, to recognize the need to live compassionately and take action to do so.
- To address loneliness and isolation, reaching out to those who feel excluded and helping them to find a valued place within our communities.
- Have an event at which further local leaders and relevant community members will sign the Charter.