What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing, set up under the National Health Service, is an approach to connecting people to activities groups and services in their community. With social prescribing, GPs, nurses and other health and care professionals can refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. Voluntary and community sector organisations provide schemes involving a variety of activities including art activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.

Never alone arts

Social prescribing and the NHS

The National Health Service (NHS) states that, ‘social prescribing is a key component of Universal Personalised Care.

Universal Personalised Care is the action plan for the rolling out of personalised care across England. It will benefit up to 2.5 million people by 2024, giving them the same choice and control over their mental and physical health that they have come to expect in every other aspect of their life.

The NHS website goes on to state that social prescribing works for all ages, but works particularly well for those who:

• Have one or more long term conditions

• Need support with low level mental health issues

• Are lonely or isolated

• Have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing

How is social prescribing relevant to CPJ Field?

We are very interested in how social prescribing can promote good mental health, helping to combat the symptoms of loneliness and isolation. We are very proud of the active role that is taken in the local communities that we serve, both through charitable donations and offering direct support. We support many families at a time of great emotional stress. This includes the grief and loneliness that is associated with the death of a close family member or spouse.

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Social prescribing and Never Alone

Perfectly aligned to social prescribing, Our Never Alone programme, is a series of community initiatives designed to help tackle loneliness and build links between people in the local community, which have begun to be signposted by local GPs as part of social prescribing. With the assistance of our compassionate colleagues, our funeral homes offer:

  • Local activities to encourage engagement in the community
  • Free coffee mornings to make new friends in the local community and enjoy a drink in a friendly environment
  • Practical advice including referrals to specialists regarding probate, wills, estate management administration
  • Referrals and introductions to local creative, sports or fitness groups such as yoga, music, walking, rambling, and religious groups
  • Recommendations for grief counselling, loneliness support, mental health support and social prescribing

I had a lovely time on Thursday joining you all for a session of singing. The song choices were great and you made me feel very welcome. I hope to bring my husband along to the next session.

Attendee, CPJ Field Community Choir

I referred a lady to CPJ Field’s Buckinghamshire group. I knew her through my previous role as social prescriber. The first time I met her she was isolated, and it took lot of encouragement and motivation to get her to walk 5 minutes outside of her house. It was a massive step for her emotionally to attend the group for the first time. Words cannot express my joy to see her last week still attending the group and how she has changed positively. She has become happy and joyful. This is a real example on how your Never Alone service can impact people’s lives. Keep it up.

Aicha Abdoulaye - Community Engagement Lead, Clinical Services NRS Healthcare, Bucks