Social prescribing is a way of enabling people to make positive changes in their lives and within their communities by linking people to volunteers, activities, voluntary and community groups and public services that can help them to:
- feel more involved in their community
- meet new people
- make some changes to improve their health and wellbeing
Social prescribing enables local agencies to refer people, with their agreement, to a link worker. Link workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision- making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and services for practical and emotional support. Link workers collaborate with local partners to support community groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new groups.
GPs, nurses, housing providers, social care teams and even family members can refer people to our link workers or ‘navigators’, who will work with each person to identify non-medical opportunities in the community that may be of benefit, e.g. social activities, interests/hobbies, peer support groups, dietary support, relaxation, exercise, voluntary opportunities or other lifestyle changes that could improve health and wellbeing.
Link workers can offer one-to-one support, to help people connect with what they’re interested in – anything from arts/craft groups and volunteering to activities that involve physical exercise, such as gardening and dance clubs. It can also involve simply putting people in contact with services that can provide practical help and advice with issues such as debt, benefits and housing.
Voluntary Centre Services is working in partnership with NHS and social care services, Public Health and the Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group to offer social prescribing in the west area of Lincolnshire. Our role is to enable health and care professionals to connect people with community services and opportunities that support wellbeing.
Our teams are working with people in the Lincoln, West Lindsey and North Kesteven areas and can be contacted via email or phone your nearest VCS office:
Gainsborough: 01427 613470
Lincoln: 01522 551683
Sleaford: 01529 308450
You can download leaflets (pdf) about the project below:
2018 Connecting you with your community (for anyone)
Find out more about how what’s happening in Lincolnshire fits in with the social prescribing movement across the UK: https://www.socialprescribingnetwork.com/