I am an Advanced Nurse Practitioner working in Primary Care, and in 2020, during the first national lockdown I became increasingly frustrated at the lack of any one site where I could go to find social prescribing help for my patients. So I set about building one. Initially the idea was something small, to solve the problem myself and my colleagues were having, keeping up to date with the fast pace of change as organisations closed and new ones opened as lockdown life kicked in. However it very soon became clear that the problems we were having in [...]
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So far Zoë Freedman has created 56 blog entries.
How uplifting it was in Spring 2020 to see rainbow paintings popping up in windows everywhere! Since then we've all grown to recognise just how useful windows can be to connect with our communities and loved ones. The team at Window Wanderland, an award-winning social enterprise, has been helping communities to create window art galleries for their neighbourhoods to enjoy since 2015. Born out of social isolation and a need to connect to the local community, Window Wanderland increases community engagement, improves wellbeing through creativity and reducing loneliness. Here’s the feedback from our organisers in 2020/21: 100% state that Wanderlands bring the community together - especially [...]
Following their piece published in April, we're hearing again from Croydon Voluntary Action about how they are helping their Social Prescribing Link Workers connect with the community. Relationship and community are crucial. Dr Julian Abel says “They are fundamental to our health. If this was a tablet, it would be an absolute medical miracle.” (Pinker (2015), The Village Effect). In Croydon we’ve been hosting virtual ‘Meet Your Link Worker’ events across the borough, asking social prescribing link workers from each locality to co-host. We put the call out to local people and organisations to hear about their experiences [...]
Hayley Hughes at Chorley Council tells us about their befriending service Friends for You. At Chorley we have a fantastic befriending service called Friends for You. This group supports 180 people every week (including during the pandemic) with regular contact. From the feedback we know that people are anxious about getting back out of the house and having company, as unfortunately people have also experienced loss in their social and family groups. Confidence has reduced so they need help and support in be able to make social connections again. Friends@Chorley have worked with local cafes, including some community [...]
Bruce Eley, founder of Jōbu, tells us about how he founded the social enterprise, and about the 'nudges' which can help motivate people to exercise. Why workout for charity? As a believer in how outdoor social physical activity can help people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing I set out on a mission with my son to study how we can motivate people from all backgrounds and abilities to more active more often. Luckily, University of Bath is on our doorstep. We ran into Dr Gareth Wiltshire who helped us dive into the realm of research studies and social science. We [...]
Sunderland’s Thriving Communities partnership is always looking at ways to push the boundaries when it comes to movement and sport. We all know the physical and mental health benefits and have seen first-hand the improvements that physical activity can have on individual and community health. Sunderland Social Prescribing Manager, Vicki Kennedy says: ‘We want to continually challenge the norms around ageing and disability and have been testing creative innovative physical activities for everyone. We’ve programmed silent disco’s for children with special educational needs and disabilities, dance for those at risk of trips and falls and last year even [...]
As part of the Green Social Prescribing project in Plymouth, Argyle Community Trust are currently delivering a range of weekly activities which aim to encourage people from the local community to become more physically active and get back into the great outdoors. The project is based in the largest park in Plymouth, Central Park, which has a range of types of nature, as well as sports and recreation opportunities for all interests. There are a variety of activities provided to ensure a wide cross section of the local community can be engaged with including older people at risk [...]
The Freedom to Be programme was rapidly co-designed and delivered by the Free Space Project in the summer of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, in response to an urgent request by two GPs to support “shielding” patients in Camden. These patients were defined at being at high risk of complications if they were to contract Coronavirus, and therefore extremely vulnerable and were required to shield and self-isolate. The Free Space Project are the in-house arts and community charity based within Kentish Town Health Centre in London. The charity came together with GPs across two of their supporting surgeries to creatively [...]
Stephen Matthews, Founder of Cycle Happy, tells us how he came up with the idea and what the charity hopes to achieve. I came up with the idea of Cycle Happy during the second lockdown of the Covid 19 pandemic. Cycle Happy is a registered charity offering cycling activities to improve health and wellbeing, forming a small but important part of a person’s wellbeing plan by offering the support for people to enter the outdoors in a structured and safe way. Cycling for me was an activity that was linked to my childhood, but I re-found my love [...]
Pilot programme in Southwark & Merton shows significant need for cross-sector working to support social prescribingZoë Freedman2021-08-09T16:06:16+01:00
Carly Annable-Coop, programme manager at Performing Medicine, an initiative from charity Clod Ensemble, provides art-based workforce training programmes across the health and social care sector. As interest, awareness and certainly the need for social prescribing becomes ever more important, as does the need to connect the different professional groups involved, and to facilitate access to a rich array of arts and cultural social prescribing offers, Performing Medicine recently led a successful pilot project across the London boroughs of Southwark and Merton in which we scoped, designed and delivered a workforce development programme for the three professional groups involved in social prescribing [...]