City of Kingston

What is a Compassionate Community?


A community that recognizes that all natural cycles of sickness and health, birth and death, and love and loss, occur every day within the orbits of its institutions and regular activities.

Its residents recognize that care for one another at times of crisis and loss is not simply a task solely for health and social services but is everyone’s responsibility.

As Professor Allan Kellehear (originally from Australia and now at the University of Bradford, England) has stated, dying is not fundamentally a medical event, rather it is a social event that happens in the family and community. If dying is about living, loving and working with a life-threatening illness until one can no longer do so … the longer part of that lifestyle occurs outside formal health care institutions.

PLANNING FOR YOUR FUTURE CARE.  Life can change in an instant!  Who will speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself?

Advance care planning workshops at the Seniors Centre, 56 Francis St: 2:30 – 4:15 pm, third Monday of each month

  To register, phone the Receptionist:  613 548-7810

Kingston Frontenac Library:  second Tuesday of the month 2 p.m.  – 3:30 p.m. (currently on Zoom). To register:

To arrange for a virtual Zoom workshop for yourself or a group:  contact

The Ten Stories:

Intergenerational Conversations

There is power and purpose in the stories older people tell over and over again – and there really are just 10 stories they tell repeatedly. Based on interviews with caregivers, Dr. Mary Ann McColl’s (Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University) research has found that the values and symbols in those retold stories hold the secret to making our loved ones feel validated, remembered and understood in the late stages of their lives – and can help us connect to our loved ones on a deeper level.

Our Vision

Kingston is a community of people that support each

other in the event of life-limiting illness, where people

are willing to have conversations about living & dying well.


A compassionate community – the sort we’d all like to live in – is one where sickness and health, birth and death, love and loss are regarded as natural events. And where in times of crisis and bereavement, community members, and not just health professionals, watch over one another caringly.

The compassionate care (CC) movement had its nascence in Ottawa Canada in November 1986 when the first International Conference on Health Promotion responded to a growing need for a new worldwide public health approach with the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Since then the World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted a public health model to include palliative care, garnering support on an international scale. This in turn has helped to drive the widespread Compassionate Communities movement today.

Community Engagement Conversations

Compassionate Community Kingston Canada (CCKC) was formed in 2017 to bring the compassionate care movement to Kingston. The organization is a voluntary  network of like-minded people in Kingston who are all passionate about some aspect of actively improving experiences of those coping with life-limiting illnesses, death and dying. They are working to to create a community in which people are better able to help each other through the difficult times that can come with ill health, dying and death.

CCKC collaborates with other individuals and organizations in the community to raise awareness of these issues and to develop support for individuals with a life-limiting illness or for those near the end of life. This recognizes the importance of family, caregivers, friends as only approximately five percent of a person’s time is spent with health care professionals. The balance is either alone or with family/social supports.