Compassionate communities and collective memory: a conceptual framework to address the epidemic of loneliness
SIME Caroline, COLLINS Stephen
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 (2005; 2017) to highlight a lack of a cohesive underpinning theory to support and drive policy development. This paper proposes 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. This paper suggests that the service-led approach that seeks to identify and transpose strategies from one community to another is ineffective; instead, the need to develop bespoke community-centred models that can be used by community nurses is emphasised.