Blue Mountains – Our compassionate community

Harnessing the willingness of villagers to care for one another and build a more connected end of life.

  • What if end of life planning happened way before the end stages of our lives?

  • What if end of life planning was about who and what matters to us, not only what is important in terms of our medical care?

  • What if neighbours and villagers (as they’re known in the Blue Mountains) were supported to activate their own networks to care for each other and for those of us less connected? Would our relationships be strengthened through this?

  • What if our businesses, community services, schools, social groups and local government were to recognise death as a natural stage of life and act accordingly? Would we get better at talking, helping, asking, sitting with and acknowledging?

End of life care is not only the responsibility of doctors, nurses and medical institutions, but is a task for the whole community; a task of love and compassion, deepened by knowing more about death, dying and bereavement.

The Blue Mountains Our Compassionate Communities project is a collaborative effort to improve the way we provide end of life care in the Upper Blue Mountains. We are working to strengthen the relationships between healthcare providers (GP’s, Palliative care, community services etc) and families, neighbourhoods and social groups in order to create stronger networks of support, building the death literacy of medical practitioners and the broader community along the way.

Now in its second year, after a year of hearty conversation and exploration together, we are spreading our wings over the ridges and valleys to connect more people to each other and to the people and information they need for a life lived well right to the end. The Willing Villagers program recognises and supports the people in our community who tend to naturally connect, build relationships, know about what’s happening in the local community and want to contribute. This program is a continuation of our community development work which is at the heart of any compassionate communities initiative. The Willing Villagers program will link in with the one-on-one work happening in General Practice and the small group initiatives bringer social connectedness, greater choice and awareness about end of life practices to the community.

All of this activity has been made possible by funding from Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (NBMPHN). Wentworth Healthcare is the provider of NBMPHN.

For more information:

If you recognise yourself as one of these Willing Villagers and would like to join us, or want to get involved, please email our local lead at

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Check out The GroundSwell Project National Hub on Compassionate Communities

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