Stories from the Pandemic
Compassionate Cities and Compassionate Communities is a global movement which came out of the belief that public health palliative care needed a focus on health and wellbeing - which is defined as ‘happiness and life satisfaction’ and is not ‘health’ dependent. In late 2021 a Compassionate Cities champion applied for Age-friendly Sheffield micro-fund monies to support a Sheffield-based storytelling project: Stories from the Pandemic.
Compassionate Communities are networks of support comprising of family, friends, neighbours and community members. They are the foundation of what matters most to those undergoing experiences of death, dying, loss and caregiving. A Compassionate City builds on this, covering the civic aspect of our lives; how we can become engaged in compassionate activities in the workplace, places of worship and our educational institutions.
Compassionate Sheffield’s storytelling project, ‘Stories from the Pandemic,’ aims to encourage conversations and develop people’s emotional sensibilities around themes of death, dying and bereavement in Sheffield. It also seeks to acknowledge, record and remember the losses due to Covid-19 and to celebrate the strength of communities who stepped forward to support each other, as well as the individuals that performed extraordinary acts of kindness.
Because of the age-friendly micro-fund received, Compassionate Sheffield were able to share their approach with the Council, and as a consequence, were asked to co-ordinate Sheffield’s Covid-19 Memorial work.
Leading on the project, Compassionate City’s Programme Manager, Nick Deayton, believes that the project will help to make Sheffield a more compassionate city, which in turn will make it a better place for all of us, as we grow up and grow older.
By gathering stories from people of all ages across Sheffield, and meeting with people in community spaces such as temples, mosques, hospitals, pubs, parks and in the street, the project pulls together a diverse range of personal pandemic experiences. With support from the age-friendly micro-fund, Compassionate Sheffield has partnered with Opus to collect the stories and produce a film, which will shine a light on the experiences of every-day people, and those working on the frontline throughout the pandemic. Once released, the film will be promoted far and wide with a view to connecting with as many people as possible across Sheffield.
What people said:
“It’s important, for me personally, to take a moment to reflect on my experience during the pandemic and to also take strength from other people’s experiences”.
Would you like to learn more about Age-friendly Sheffield? We have been talking to people across Sheffield about what it means to be ‘age-friendly’ and how Sheffield can be a brilliant city for people to live at any age. Watch this video to get the story so far and join in the conversation through 100 Voices.