The National Academy for Social Prescribing, in partnership with Independent Age, is delighted to announce that Hastings and Leicester have successfully bid to deliver programmes of pilot work to support older people through social prescribing. Hastings Voluntary Action and Reaching People have been appointed to lead this work in collaboration with other partner organisations and older people in each locality.
Working with local stakeholders, networks and services, the pilot projects will identify older people who are not currently accessing social prescribing and undertake meaningful engagement with them to understand how social prescribing could help to address their needs and priorities. There will be a particular focus on engaging with older people experiencing financial hardship and those from marginalised communities.
These pilot projects follow initial exploratory work undertaken by NASP and Independent Age to understand more about the current barriers, enablers and opportunities related to social prescribing for older people. This work included a stakeholder questionnaire and an evidence review completed by NASP’s Academic Partners.
“It’s fantastic to be partnering with Independent Age, Reaching People and Hastings Voluntary Action to deliver these pilot projects. We hope that this work will enable us to support more older people through social prescribing, helping to address health inequalities and making provision more diverse, accessible and inclusive.”
Emily Cousins, National Lead for Older People at NASP
“Independent Age has been supporting older people facing financial hardship since our foundation in 1863. Over the last decade, we have developed our expertise on the consequences of financial hardship in later life through working directly with older people, our ground-breaking evidence-based research, delivering a comprehensive information and advice service and our policy change campaigns. There are clear links between financial insecurity and poor mental and physical health. A person’s health is shaped by various social, economic and physical environments.
The issues discussed that impact financial well-being as people age can lead to poor mental health. For this reason, we are delighted to be working with NASP and funding the pilot project to contribute towards a better understanding of the social prescribing activities, practices and services that best enable improved quality of life for older people”
Dan Ellitts, Grants Consultant Independent Age
The Hastings pilot will run until August this year, and the Leicester pilot until October.