How was Compassionate Accompaniment created?
Working in cancer care as a Qi Gong practitioner for several years now I have come to see how it is not only cancer that people struggle with. Often people come carrying so much more than what they are dealing with physically. Whether it is living with side effects of medications, recovering from surgery, living with effects of chemo and radio therapies, grief from loss of loved ones, relationships, depression, isolation…these are just some of the realities that come with experiencing cancer.
The sessions I offer to patients, family members and friends include sitting around a table after the Qi Gong practice. The time we have together at the table after the session is a crucial part of the healing and support that they find with themselves and each other.
This time of slowing down and coming together is not so readily available in many our lives. The table is central to the ethos of Compassionate Accompaniment. It represents the importance of coming together to share food, conversation, questions, ideas and to feel that we not alone. Whether we are experiencing grief, loss, exhaustion, chronic illness, cancer, dying...we are connected and can find love and support.
I began holding what I call Share Our Table Gatherings. These gatherings help to restore a sense of belonging and connection in ourselves and our communities. But we needed some financial support to minimize costs. So in spring 2019 I applied to Firstport for funding to be able to offer more of these gatherings. And we got it! By July 2019 Compassionate Accompaniment became a registered CIC (Community Interest Company) we are so grateful to Firstport for their ongoing support.
We are growing and have now held Share Our Table Gatherings in Stirling, Glasgow, West Lothian, and Edinburgh. Our focus going forward in 2020 is to find a permanent home in Edinburgh for Compassionate Accompaniment CIC. We are excited about what we can do together and looking forward to what unfolds.