For Professionals


This page has been created for health and social care professionals working in Hillingdon. It might also be of some value for existing Compassionate Friends supporting those living in Hillingdon. Compassionate Hillingdon is a hybrid model, drawing from the traditional Compassionate Neighbours model and linking it with community development. The project is run via H4All, working closely with partners including Harlington Hospice.

Project governance will be via the End of Life Programme Board. To this end:

  • The Project has been formally adopted
  • Compassionate Hillingdon will be a regular agenda item on the monthly Board.
  • Compassionate Hillingdon will be reported to HHCP, via the PMO. Reports will include regular updates, a risk register and milestones.
  • Compassionate Hillingdon project will provide regular updates to the NWL Volunteering Board, who will be able to help influence at ICS level where appropriate.

Safeguarding and volunteering governance 

  • Compassionate Hillingdon will sit within the established safeguarding policy and processes in place at Harlington Hospice.
  • Compassionate Hillingdon coordinator will report directly to the Safeguarding Board, following established protocol.
  • Volunteers will adhere to the established volunteer processes and procedures in place at H4All/Harlington Hospice.

Our Commitment to Project Participants

  • Project participants will be treated with respect and kindness.
  • A project participation agreement will set out the terms of the project and the expectations of the project participant, and the expectations the project participant can have of the project and the volunteers.
  • To support meaningful reciprocal friendships, we will work with the project participants to understand what is important to them, their interests, likes and dislikes. An open and honest dialogue, without judgement, will be key to ensuring individuals are matched with the right volunteer. This information will only be used for this purpose, and the Compassionate Hillingdon Coordinator will only convey information that positively supports the matching process.
  • Project participants will be able to veto, refuse or change their volunteer friend at any time.  However, project participants will be asked to explain the reasons why to help with future matching.
  • Project participants are not expected to have direct conversations with their volunteer friend about ending the friendship.  Any changes will be conveyed by the Compassionate Hillingdon Coordinator.
  • Project participants can raise concerns at any time with the Compassionate Hillingdon Coordinator. Project participants, their family and friends will be provided contact details for the Compassionate Hillingdon Coordinator and the nominated safeguarding lead. All concerns will be acted upon.
  • Project participants will be encouraged to attend social events, and to mix with the wider Compassionate Hillingdon cohort.

Project Boundaries
This project seeks to establish reciprocal friendships between people. The project defines this as: two people who share similar interests and beliefs, who support each other with both people doing what they can when they can.  

Friendship is based on trust. Trust is an important foundation of this project for everyone involved. Key to this is ensuring everyone is open and honest.  As a project we will not be prescribing, what, when and how the relationship develops, to do so goes against the ethos of reciprocal friendship. However, to ensure equity, and to alleviate concerns the following must be adhered to:

  • Compassionate Friends must commit to volunteer for a minimum of 3 hrs. per week to support their project participant friend.
  • If a Compassionate Friend has committed to support a project participant friend, they must be clear in this commitment. Whenever possible arrangements must be confirmed in advance, and reasonable notice be given if the commitment cannot be made to allow for alternative support to be put in place – for example accompanying to a medical appointment, collecting food or a prescription.
  • No money must be exchanged. If a project participant is experiencing money problems the Compassionate Hillingdon Coordinator will ensure that they are supported with benefits advice.
  • The project volunteer must not provide support currently offered through a statutory organisation for example domiciliary care. If needs change, they must be reviewed in the appropriate way.
  • Any difficulties in the friendship should be reported to the Compassionate Hillingdon Coordinator as soon as possible to ensure we are able to support appropriately.
  • Social media including WhatsApp and Facebook is subject to a separate policy. Everyone is personally responsible for what they post. To be clear:
  • Volunteers and project participants are not permitted to set up social media accounts for work purposes without prior consultation with the CH Coordinator
  • A publicity consent form must be obtained prior to posting images or text which may be used on social media
  • Confidentiality must be respected at all times and protect confidential information.

As we have noted Trust is a key component of this project. To ensure that we build and retain trust we have:

  • A named Safeguarding Lead to report concerns to
  • A complaints procedure
  • A volunteer training programme that helps volunteers navigate their role.
  • Support from the CH Coordinator
  • A no-fault approach to not continuing with a friendship.