A young women sits with an older woman and helps her use a laptop

29/02/2024 A guide to co-designing social prescribing initiatives with older people

The National Academy for Social Prescribing, in partnership with Independent Age, commissioned two pilot projects to understand how social prescribing can work to support older people experiencing financial difficulties and health inequalities.

The projects were led by Hastings Voluntary Action and Reaching People in Leicester. Both organisations engaged a diverse range of older people and communities to understand people’s experiences and priorities.

This toolkit is designed to help other organisations looking to set up social prescribing initiatives for older people in their communities.


It contains tips to co-designing social prescribing initiatives based on this engagement. The tips include how to engage older people and a practical approach for effective engagement. There are also additional resources. The two sites have provided different tips and approaches about co-designing social prescribing initiatives with older people. Hasting’s tips include how to find and engage older people in co-design. Leicester’s tips include a practical coaching tool for effective co-design. 

Initiatives will now be delivered and evaluated in 2024 / 2025.

Additional resources

Working with people and communities.

Working in partnership with people and communities: Statutory guidance, which includes different ways of working with people and communities from informing them to co-producing with them.

Guidance on working with people and communities. Summary, easy read and podcast available. 

Logos of Independent Age, Hastings Voluntary Action and Reaching People


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