Like so many of us, Evrill found lockdown hard. Stuck in her house in Manchester, she couldn’t do any of the things she used to love: singing, dancing, spending time with her family and her church community.
Spending days on end stuck inside, she began to feel isolated and alone but wasn’t sure what she could do– we were in the middle of a pandemic. It was only when she mentioned these feelings in passing to her GP that she found out about social prescribing, and that there might be a way to feel better after all.
Find out more about Evrill's social prescribing story
After spending some time talking to a link worker - explaining how she was feeling – they referred her to a community music organisation called String of Hearts. Every few weeks, they would ring her up and sing songs down the phone. A life-long music fan, she looked forward to the phonecalls every week. It was a small thing, but made such a difference.
Now lockdown has lifted, she regularly attends the singing sessions in person.
Evrill said: “When we sing together in that room, it's so marvellous.… it brings people together.”
Two musicians, Clive and Amy, lead the group – taking requests, leading harmonies and encouraging participants to bring along compositions of their own. Evrill loves reggae – especially Bob Marely – and wrote a song inspired by her experience of lockdown.
“Brave Up” is about the reserves of courage we all need to find when going through hard times, and would not exist if Evrill hadn’t herself found the bravery needed to be ‘prescribed’ something new. Now she has lots of like minded friends and even had her song featured on the local news.
Social prescribing can be that helping hand needed to take us from isolated and lonely to happy and fulfilled. If you aren’t sure what changes you need to make your life happier and healthier, speak to your GP surgery ask for an appointment with a link worker.