Compassionate communities and collective memory: a conceptual framework to address the epidemic of loneliness

Caroline Sime*, Stephen Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

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In recent years, tackling loneliness has become the focus of increased scholarly debate, social intervention and the development of international policy. One response to the ‘epidemic of loneliness’ has been the development of the compassionate communities model. The diversity of compassionate communities approaches has led to scholars such as Allan Kellehear to highlight a lack of a cohesive underpinning theory to support and drive policy development. In this paper, we propose the use of ‘collective memory’ as a novel approach to linking loneliness, memory and identity in a way that draws out conceptual links between the role compassionate communities play in tackling social isolation and loneliness. Moreover, we suggest that the current service-led approach that seeks to identify and transpose strategies from one community to another is ineffective; instead, we emphasize the need to develop bespoke community-centred models that can be utilised by community nurses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-584
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2019


  • compassionate communities
  • collective memory
  • social Isolation
  • loneliness
  • conceptual framework

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  • Activities

    • 1 Participation in conference
    • 1 Invited talk

    (In)visible Stories: An Investigation into the Status of ICH in Scotland

    Stephen Collins (Organiser), Ewan Gibbs (Speaker), Susan Henderson (Speaker) & Julie Clark (Speaker)

    14 May 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Can ICH help to address the epidemic of loneliness?

    Stephen Collins (Speaker) & Caroline Sime (Speaker)

    14 May 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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