Part two of this case study covers the key factors of Compassionate Inverclyde's success and the main challenges that it is currently facing

In this second part of the case study ‘Compassionate Inverclyde: The creation of a Compassionate Community and Place of Kindness,’ the key success of the programme are examined through the lens of the Health and Social Care Academy’s Five Provocations. The case study also touches upon some of the learning of Compassionate Inverclyde and also the main challenges that are facing the programme going forward.


Key factors for Success

Courageous Leadership

Compassionate Inverclyde is an example of what it is possible to achieve for individuals and their community when the right conditions are created. The Programme aligns with the five themes of Courageous Leadership, Nurturing Transformation, Target Culture, Emphasising Humanity and Ceding Power that have been identified, as the bold steps required achieving transformational change. (Five Provocations for the Future of Health and Social Care, the ALLIANCE, 2016)

The Programme Lead has driven the Programme forward with commitment, humility, dedication and passion.  Alison Bunce has lead by example and provided kind, strong and courageous leadership that has created opportunities and the right conditions that allow people to flourish.  The sign of a true leader is someone who inspires and has the ability to encourage commitment and engagement from people. In embodying all these qualities, Alison has inspired people to work together in the service of something greater than themselves. One of the main reasons for the success of the Programme can be attributed to this courageous leadership. It was the overwhelming view expressed by of all those consulted with during the interviews for the purposes of this study. Strong Leadership from a Programme Lead with a professional nursing background, who worked for the hospice, meant that trust and respect from Health and Social Care staff was already firmly in place. These factors helped the Programme to become established and accepted by clinicians and healthcare professionals.

Councillor Robert Moran is now the Chair of the Compassionate Inverclyde Board. He has been a supporter of Compassionate Inverclyde from the onset.  He attributes the success of the Programme to the strong leadership of the Programme Lead and the dedication of the volunteers.  An evaluation of the Programme is due to be published in October and Robert would like to see the evidence presented in a report for consideration to the Health and Social Care Committee at Confederation Of Scottish Local Authorities.

Emphasising Humanity

Louise Long is the Chief Officer of Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership and was Chair of the Board until April 2018. She said, “ Inverclyde is unique. Compassionate Inverclyde is the single best thing I have been involved in. It brings the community together in the terms of Integration.”

The learning from the compassionate communities’ movement is the importance of having to adapt to local circumstances and context.  Key to the success of Compassionate Inverclyde is that it is community based and galvanised by dedicated and committed volunteers.

Brian Corrigan is the Partnership Facilitator at CVS Inverclyde. He thinks the reason for the Programmes success is that “Compassionate Inverclyde encourages a compassionate community and how to support neighbours and vulnerable people. It is good to see the willingness and care for the community.”

Brian Polding-Clyde is the Integration Lead at Scottish Care and enthusiastic about the benefits that the programme brings to everyone involved. “What I love about Compassionate Inverclyde is the selfless nature of a group of people coming together to achieve something that is beyond what their own role and function would require.”

presented in a report for consideration to the Health and Social Care Committee at Confederation Of Scottish Local Authorities.

Ceding power

The Programme Lead places her trust in the volunteers and encourages them to take responsibility for the operation of the different components of Programme. There is good teamwork and peer support among the volunteers who come from all sectors of society. Unlike many other projects, Compassionate Inverclyde does not struggle to recruit Volunteers, as they are able to become involved in a number of ways due to the varied nature of what the Programme offers. Volunteers are shared between CVS Inverclyde, Your Voice and Compassionate Inverclyde and there is an absence of bureaucracy and paperwork – factors that can often deter people from volunteering.

Trust has been placed in volunteers who are valued and have been provided with good training. This trust and willingness to cede power has built resilience and strengthened the community.


Key Learning

The Programme has had the flexibility and the fluidity to adapt. It has attracted people with empathy and the right attitudes and utilised horizon scanning to look at the needs and roles that people can fulfil.


Future challenges

Accessing sources of funding has been a challenge from the onset and funding is a fundamental concern going forward. Currently, Ardgowan Hospice and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership fund Compassionate Inverclyde. In order to survive there will be a need to find alternative sources of funding from organisations in which case, the Board will need to become constituted in order to apply for funding. It is possible that some strands of the programme could form their own Board and apply for funding separately.

At present, Compassionate Inverclyde is very coordinated with good communication and partnership working between the different parts of the Programme.  In the event that these parts are required to operate independently in order to access funding, careful planning and management would be required to ensure that these changes do not result in fragmentation and loss of the cohesiveness and collaboration that makes the Programme such a success.

To see Compassionate Inverclyde come to life what this short video with some of the participants of the programme (clicking this link will take you away from our website).

Follow Compassionate Inverclyde on Facebook (clicking this link will take you away from our website).



Grateful and heartfelt thanks go to all who gave up their time and were willing to contribute to this study. Interviews were conducted with the following people:

Alison Bunce – Programme Lead

Volunteers – Betty, Myra, Shona, Ruth, William

Brian Corrigan – Partnership Facilitator CVS Inverclyde, Karen Haldane – Executive Director Your Voice Inverclyde, Louise Long – Chief Office Inverclyde HSCP, Councillor Robert Moran – Elected Member and Chair of Compassionate Inverclyde Board, Brian Polding Clyde – Integration Lead Scottish Care


The Place of Kindness: Combating loneliness and building stronger communities

Kellehear, A. (2005). Compassionate Cities. Routledge. A Connected Scotland: Tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger communities.

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