Green social prescribing pilot gets people back outdoors in Plymouth

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 of isolation, people that are looking to lose weight, Armed Forces Veterans and school children on free school meals. The activities include:

  • Walk & Talk group for older adults who are at risk of isolation
  • Beginners Bowls sessions
  • Couch to 5k programme which aims to support people run 5km in 9 weeks
  • An outdoor Soccercise circuit class which uses footballs to help women exercise
  • Sessions that use sport to engage with Armed Forces Veterans
  • School holiday activity club aimed at children who receive free school meals or pupil premium

Argyle Community Trust’s Health and Wellbeing Manager, Ben Kerswell, says “Physical activity is a vital part of our programme and is being used as a way of getting people back out into the community after lockdown. As well as the obvious health benefits, such as losing weight, it has been found that physical activity has also had a positive impact on participants’ mental health, reducing social isolation and improving their overall wellbeing. We are working closely with the Wolseley Trust, who employ social prescribers that work in partnership with GP practices across Plymouth, who are able to connect people to the project for support to get more active in a safe and friendly environment. It is hoped that a successful Olympic Games from Team GB will further inspire people to get more active this summer.”

As well as the physical activity sessions, with their partners the Wolseley Trust, the Theatre Royal, Green Minds and Plymouth City Council, a wide range of free activities have been developed by Argyle Community Trust, as part of the summer programme, that highlights the natural environment of the park and gives the local community the opportunity to experience new activities on their doorstep.  The Wolseley Trust is to provide wellbeing support for participants as well as employing social prescribers, that work in partnership with GP practices across Plymouth, who will connect people to the project for support to get more active in a safe and friendly environment. Argyle Community Trust, the Theatre Royal and Green Minds will lead on a variety of physical activity, arts and nature-based activities.

If you wish to find out more or have a specific question about the programme or the project please contact Ben Kerswell on email ben.kerswell@pafc.co.uk or phone 07961588378.

Ideas Hub

Published 20 July 2021

Argyle Community Trust

Ben Kerswell

Health and Wellbeing Manager