Meet Jim. He has a progressive spinal condition and is paralysed from the knee down. He has struggled with his mental and physical health following surgery in 2018.  


Strathcarron Hospice has always felt a part of its local communities, and we have a long history of providing care out with the Hospice building - from Community Nurse Specialists, Hospice@Home, Lymphoedema and bereavement services. The majority of our patients are seen in their own communities and their own home. 

Our Compassionate Communities team connect people. Their work in community development is a natural and logistical extension to what we do.

We support people to have as good a life as possible until the very end, and to have as good a death as possible. Normalising death and dying and early involvement with palliative care improves lives.

We embark on this journey alongside communities; standing back, rather than taking over.

Justine from our Compassionate Community team says,  


When I first met Jim, his confidence was at an all-time low. But, we had a good conversation and by listening, I got a picture of what his life was like. Together, we focused on working towards some goals that were important to him. 


Jim loved his job as an HGV driver and found it hard to come to terms with not working again in a job he loved, and that he was unable to provide financially for his family.  First, we focused on getting support from the Citizen Advice Bureau on practical life admin tasks such as getting a blue badge and road tax relief.  



Jim’s a very sociable person and a wonderful story teller. He is also a very practical man. He can fix cars and his son’s would regularly come to him looking for guidance on how to fix their land rovers.  So, I looked at some volunteering options in his local community. The volunteer coordinator who runs the Woodshed, warmly welcomed Jim to the group and assured him he could turn up on weeks where his pain wasn’t so bad.  


A few months on and Jim is a regular member of the Woodshed and has made some good friends. He is involved in an accessibility project at the centre and his handiwork is impressive. He’s already made some lovely planters and hedgehog houses and recently went to a social event which the club ran.  


Before our visit, Jim wasn’t aware of these opportunities available in the community, so it’s wonderful to see how happy he is and how valued his contributions are within these groups. On the days when he is unable to leave his home, he attends online community groups via Zoom.  

Jim also gets great support from Spinal Injuries Scotland who introduced him to wheelchair rugby in Glasgow where he now regularly plays. Although Jim is paralysed from the knee down with a brace on his leg, he is still able to drive; enabling him to have independence.  


His enthusiasm of team sports is growing, so I took a leaflet along with some other disability sports that are local to the area. He said that he’s interested in trying basketball. He would also love to try archery, so I will see if I can find out if there are any opportunities to try this too”! 


Jim is also in the process of volunteering for Spinal Injuries Scotland where he will be offering peer support to people in hospital with a spinal injury. His volunteering role will be in offering guidance and advice to them about what support services are available in the local community from both Spinal Injuries Scotland, but also from other local/national agencies.  As a person also living with a spinal injury he can offer practical and emotional support to people who want advice from someone with lived experience, and who truly understands what they are going through.  

Read more about our Compassionate Communities In Our Community