Compassion – Care for others – Care for self – Connection – Community
Do you have enough of these in your life, in your team and in your organisation?
The Compassion Practices shared here have been used by tens of thousands of people in health and social care across the UK and internationally. Some have been endorsed and promoted by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Public Health Wales.
These structured compassion practices are all about reconnecting people to purpose, humanity, self, and each other, in a way that feels accessible, simple, and straightforward to implement. We believe that they can also help in the sometimes challenging work of inclusion, and finding our common humanity.
Shares the practices so that you can use them easily
Offers opportunities to connect with others who are using the practices
Links you to events such as Q&A sessions where you can learn more
The Basic Compassion Practices
The 60-minute Compassion Circle is the original practice as developed by Andy Bradley and colleagues. So if you can make an hour, this is probably the place to start.
Next, 20-minute Care Space was developed for people who are pressed for time. It offers a beautiful space in a group setting.
Each of the other practices addresses specific needs, so feel free to explore!
Compassion Circle (60 minutes)
The original! This practice provides a spacious opportunity for people across your organisation to listen, connect, think and commit to self-care and embedding compassion within our systems and communities.
20-minute Care Space
For groups of people from across your organisation to meet, listen to each other and commit to self care. It is a great way to give people a space to cope with the stresses of a complex and pressured work environment.
For Individuals, Pairs or Small Groups – short practices to help with self care
5-minute Me Space
This practice gives you 5 peaceful minutes by yourself to help you unwind, re-connect to yourself and commit to self care. It can also be used with a colleague or friend, if you prefer. There is an audio guidance if you would like to use it.
10-minute Pause Space
This 10-minute practice is for a small group of people to help each other find the space to re-set, recharge and re-commit to self care. It can be used by anyone, in any setting, and was designed to be useful when time is at a premium, or in challenging times.
For Teams – for groups of people who work together
20-minute Team Space
This short practice provides your team with a quick way to stop, re-connect and re-energise in the midst of a busy schedule. It is focused, fun and effective.
60-minute Team Space
This longer team practice is for when you can invest a little more time in your team’s cohesiveness, systems and care for each other. It will produce insights, bonding and motivation.
Why Compassion Practices?
Compassion practices enable safety, trust and cooperation. They help to create the system conditions for compassion and care for all.
Evaluation suggests these practices improve self-care and team functioning and are highly valued by those who have experienced them.
At this time of unprecedented complexity, challenge and stress, individuals are at risk of burning out, teams are at risk of losing cohesion, and this leaves health and social care organisations and the system vulnerable, just when we need it most.
These practices can help to re-balance:
- The focus on the technical aspects of caring for others with the ability to give care with humanity
- The opportunity for the givers of care themselves to receive care
- The responsibility of the system not only for patient care but also for staff wellbeing
Discover more about the Compassion Practices
“Why do we so often hear about a lack of compassion for patients,but so little about compassion for the people whose job it is to serve them.”
Andy Bradley, creator of Compassion Circles