Copeland Borough Council – Social Prescribing
The Social Prescribing Team was established to help Copeland residents improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them with a range of groups, activities and services in the local area.
The Social Prescribing project was established in partnership with the NHS as it has been recognised that many people accessing their GPs were doing so for reasons more to do with social exclusion, such as loneliness, rather than for help with medical issues, or because they had reached a crisis point which could have been avoided with upstream, early intervention. Covid 19 highlighted the impact social exclusion can have on people’s mental health and well-being, with many more people requiring low-level support, which many statutory organisations cannot provide due to their set thresholds for admission to programmes.
The grant award supports the continuation of the social prescribing service, covering salaries and additional running costs and will ensure ongoing support.
The scheme can help anyone over 18, and the support on offer includes:
- Help with using digital technology
- Advice on managing finances
- Housing and homelessness
- Befriending or support groups
- Social and creative activities
- Benefits advice
- Help with issues like mild depression and anxiety
- Training and volunteering opportunities
- Activities around health and keeping physically active
- Introduce a digital app to improve public access to support groups.
- Embed social prescribing as part of the wider social inclusion agenda in Copeland. This means supporting residents to develop their skills and opportunities as well as seek support.
- Increase public awareness of social prescribing.
- Work upstream to support an overwhelmed NHS and care sector with preventative, early interventions.
- Provide a service outside of NHS systems for hundreds of people who do not want a clinical solution or cannot get appointments due to waiting lists.
- Offer a connecting service for those people where confidence and capacity is a barrier to help them engage with the system by choosing which groups and services to approach and broker those introductions.
- Where people would benefit and want ongoing coaching or person-centred support this project will help them with self- referral to bespoke services such HAWCs, WOW etc.
- Develop and launch a Lived Experience Peer Mentoring pilot working with Community Groups engaged in Social Prescribing to bring forward volunteers who have benefited from those services and have experienced the same problems as the people they will befriend and walk alongside through their journey.
- Further increase provision where gaps in available activities, groups and services or geographic coverage have been identified.