May 2021 Thriving Communities webinar – Loneliness 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.