Next Thriving Communities webinars:

Tuesday 9 November 2021, 3-4pm

Global Social Prescribing Alliance

Register here

Join us for the next webinar in the Thriving Communities series where we will hear international perspectives on social prescribing from a number of community groups involved with the Global Social Prescribing Alliance.

What is the Global Social Prescribing Alliance?

NASP is working with the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Global Sustainability Index Institute (UNSGII) to establish a Global Social Prescribing Alliance which aims to spread the word of social prescribing globally, linking this to the implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Alliance aims to raise awareness of social prescribing by forming alliances, work with others and share innovative approaches to “enable thriving communities to deliver a social revolution in their health and wellbeing while generating value”.

Who is it for? 

Anyone in community groups, the VCFSE, NHS and commissioning who is interested in hearing how social prescribing is developing in other countries around the world. 

Who will be speaking? 

  • Chair: Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Head of Global Social Prescribing Alliance, NASP 
  • Representatives from community groups involved with social prescribing in other countries 

Tuesday 23 November 2021, 3-4pm

Beyond Contact to Connectedness – optimising health and wellbeing of people and the natural environment

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In this webinar we will hear about the importance of nature connectedness for people’s health and wellbeing and how it links with social prescribing.

It will explain the difference between contact with nature and nature connectedness, and the importance of both in optimising the benefits of nature for health and wellbeing. You will learn about five simple pathways to nature connectedness to improve policy, planning and delivery at both an organisational and individual level.

What will you learn? 

This webinar will: 

  • Explore what nature connectedness is, and how it differs from contact with nature 
  • Share a summary of the evidence to show how both contact and connectedness with nature are needed to optimise the benefits for health and wellbeing 
  • Build confidence in applying five simple pathways to nature connectedness to improve policy, planning and delivery at both organisational and individual levels 
  • Highlight the opportunities to develop nature connectedness through social prescribing 
  • Signpost to sources of help for people to learn more 

Who is it for? 

  • Community groups and the voluntary sector  
  • National and regional delivery organisations  
  • Policy and decision makers who are considering interventions to support health, wellbeing and recovery 

Who will be speaking? 

  • Chair: Jim Burt, Head of Programmes, National Academy for Social Prescribing 
  • Professor Miles Richardson, Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness, University of Derby. He founded the Nature Connectedness Research Group at the University of Derby in 2013. The group has pioneered the first interventions to bring about sustained increases in nature connectedness, bringing about improved wellbeing and pro-nature behaviours. 
  • Hana Sutch is co-founder and CEO at Go Jauntly, a health and wellness company who created Go Jauntly. A multi-award winning walking, wayfinding and nature connection app. The app breaks down barriers to walking by helping people discover walks, create their own and share outdoor adventures with friends. Go Jauntly partners with a variety of organisations including Transport for London, Sport England, Greater Manchester Moving, Southampton City Council, London Wildlife Trust, Tranquil City and the University of Derby to increase walking for leisure, active travel as well as nature connection. Hana is the host of the podcast, Nature Bantz; and is a strong believer in tech for good. 
  • Nigel King, Senior Advisor in Green Infrastructure, Natural England 

Future webinars: (subject to change)

7 December 2021: Children and Young People and Social Prescribing

11 January 2022: Social Prescribing and Physical Activity: Movement Matters

8 February: Tackling health inequalities and how to overcome engagement barriers

22 February: Arts and Culture: Museums and Libraries and Social Prescribing

8 March: Natural Environment and Social Prescribing

5 April: Measuring and Communicating Results with Impact

10 May: Funding: sustainable financial solutions for community and voluntary groups

7 June: Approaches to Co-production

5 July: Thriving Communities Fund: What have we learned?

Missed an event? No problem. Catch up here. And for resources related to webinars, see our Thriving Communities Network.

October 2021Financial Wellbeing and Social Prescribing

In this joint webinar between the Thriving Communities Programme which works with local community groups, and the new national Accelerating Innovation Programme, the links between financial wellbeing and social prescribing were explored. There’s a really close relationship between hardship and mental health, and financial worries can affect every aspect of our lives, including our wider physical health and well-being. 

But financial well-being is not just about dealing with crisis situations, it’s also about working with people throughout their lives to help them with the skills and confidence we all need to manage money and to accept the benefits and support we’re entitled to. It’s also about understanding and building networks of support around people’s lives, where their finances and their health intersect. And social prescribing link workers see the effects of money worries in people every day, and how it can affect every aspect of their lives.  

Yet despite its importance talking about money is difficult for many of us and it’s a taboo in society. And having those money conversations is a really important skill in social prescribing. 

This webinar offered tips and advice on how to talk money with the people that community groups and link workers work with and support. Speakers were Dawn Cummings, a regional manager within the Partnerships team for the Money And Pension Service, a Thriving Communities partner. She’s responsible for the East Midlands and also the partnerships team national lead on social prescribing. We also heard from Damon Gibbons, who is the Executive Director for the Centre for Responsible Credit, in his role as Project Lead for the Financial Shield pilot, joined by Hanan Paganini, a Financial Support Link Worker in Lambeth who is making the pilot happen on the ground. 

They discussed 

  • What financial wellbeing is 
  • The impact on physical and mental health 
  • The importance of collaborating across stakeholders and organisations 
  • How we make people feel confident and empowered 
  • Keeping it simple and improving the journey by providing a single point of entry to advice 
  • How it is essential to have understanding of the local area and local provision as well as national provision 
  • The challenges of approaching PCNs and selling a holistic approach 
  • Building partnerships and networks that have the individual at the centre 

September 2021Understanding Social Prescribing

We heard from: 

Michelle Pilling, Senior Lead, Social Prescribing, NHS England and Improvement 

Rachael Bennion, Volunteering and Service User Involvement, Petrus, Rochdale 

Christine Blythe, Chief Officer, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Service 

Social prescribing is a powerful approach to health and social care that enables people to get support in a way that is meaningful and helpful to them. Yet not everyone knows what social prescribing is or the impact it has. This webinar explained more with an aim to leave those working in the VCSE sector empowered to make the most of social prescribing in communities. 

In this session we explored the following: 

  • The concepts behind social prescribing were explained, and how the different elements fit together, from primary care networks to VCSE sector. 
  • The role of link workers was detailed and how they listen to people and put them in touch with the people and resources they need to feel better. 
  • How this isn’t new, but something the VCSE sector has been delivering for a long time. 
  • How being healthy is about more than not being ill, but holistic physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as social connections and communities. 
  • The growth in social prescribing schemes over the last five years and the mounting evidence that it works. 

July 2021National Partnership Working Across the National Academy for Social Prescribing – who we are and what we do

June 2021Heritage and Social Prescribing

May 2021Loneliness and Social Prescribing  

Chair: Jim Burt, Head of Development and Partnerships, NASP  

Charlotte Hill, Tackling Loneliness Team, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport  

Simon Sherbersky, Strategic Director, Torbay Community Development Trust  

Jackie Jamieson, Community Linking Project Development Manager, Edbert’s House 


In this Thriving Communities webinar we explored how social prescribing can help tackle loneliness. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) 2.6 million people in Great Britain reported that they ‘often’ or ‘always’ felt lonely between 3 April and 3 May 2020, during lockdown. Young people are the most likely to report feeling lonely. So now is an important time to discuss this issue, and our speakers covered topics such as: 

  • The context of loneliness – who gets lonely? How many people does it affect across the country? How does it affect people’s health and wellbeing?  
  • The health, social and economic impact of loneliness. 
  • The impact that social prescribing can have on loneliness and how it can change lives. 
  • How we can empower communities to take ownership and control to provide for individuals experiencing loneliness. 
  • What an asset based community development approach is and how to create a social prescribing ecosystem. 
  • The role of link workers, wellbeing coordinators and connectors who are facilitating partnerships. 
  • How to identify opportunities for community based activities. 
  • Integrating digital into the provision. 
  • The important role VCSE groups play due to knowledge of communities, infrastructure, assets and relationships. 
  • How to build capacity and work in partnership, playing to each other’s strengths, to ultimately work towards this population health management that the NHS are looking to address. 

  Watch the video here to find out more.   

If you have any questions about the topics discussed in this webinar, and want to hear how other VCSE groups have addressed them, visit our Thriving Communities Network.