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“It’s restored my faith in humanity knowing that there’s support out there for vulnerable people like me and I’m going to do some volunteering to show my appreciation.”

— – Lady supported suffering with severe anxiety, bereavement, and social isolation.

Social Prescribing

There is increasing interest in social prescribing as a way of addressing the challenge represented by the large number of people struggling with underlying social problems vising their GP for medical solutions.

We use the term social prescribing to describe a system whereby primary care providers (GPs) introduce those patients with social, emotional or practical needs to a range of local, non-clinical services, often provided by the voluntary and community sector. We organise this process through an introduction to a team of trained Community Connectors.

Our connectors take time to listen to referred individuals, and to build a holistic picture of what for them constitutes a

good life. They then work together to decide how to move towards their goals.

Social prescribing can help introduce vulnerable people to new opportunities for making friends, getting active, and joining in within their local community.

The kinds of activities this might involve include:

  • Knitting groups
  • Walk and talk
  • Debt management services
  • Men’s Sheds Schemes
  • Volunteering opportunities

 

It might also involve less formal connections between people who share an interest, or between neighbours looking out for each other.

There is no single pathway. There are no fixed rules. There is empathy, creativity, and a detailed knowledge of local neighbourhoods, which come together to build a bespoke plan for engagement.

Read about some people’s experiences of Wellbeing Exeter here.