The Active Suffolk team are celebrating International Social Prescribing Day today, to recognise the partnerships formed with local social prescribers and the greater impact this has had on residents across Suffolk. Active Suffolk is one of forty-three Active Partnerships across the country dedicated to increasing the number of people taking part in sport and physical activity.
Daphne accessed the Active Wellbeing service after being referred via her GP surgery, she said:
“I was referred to the Active Wellbeing Service at a really difficult time in my life, I was battling with lots of personal challenges including a number of health problems - arthritis, a recent hip replacement and brain haemorrhage!
“Chris really helped to guide and motivate me to be more active. Completing a fitness MOT with him was a revelation. It proved to me that there was more I could do which really boosted my confidence. Through his support I committed to regular gentle exercises at home and took up gardening which supported me to move so much more.
“I found the more I did, the more I could do and once I recognised the benefits of regular movement, it encouraged me to continue. Although the amount of activity I have done has reduced recently due to covid I am still feeling better than ever before and I am delighted!”
Sophie Cummins, a Community Connector in the Babergh area regularly refers patients into the Active Wellbeing service through the Connect for Health social prescribing scheme. She said:
“As Community Connector I am able to spend the time finding out what is important to my participants and what it is that they would like support with, sometimes they are not sure themselves and so I support them through this process.
“After working together to identify ways in which my participants could improve their health and wellbeing, I will often link to community groups, local clubs, new activities and services like the Active Wellbeing service to help my participants with a variety of issues.
“Just before the pandemic hit, I referred a lady onto the Active Wellbeing service to help her to be more active to manage a long-term condition which she was finding emotionally draining. This proved to be very worthwhile and having the link with Active Suffolk continues to be such a valuable partnership.”
Chris Lawson project Officer at Active Suffolk who has led on the Active Wellbeing service in the Babergh area said:
“Working with social prescribers like Sophie is key. Social prescribers provide non-clinical support and local knowledge which aligns with our service.
“We share the same objectives of working to improve the health & wellbeing of residents and communities. I have found being able to signpost clients, which perhaps require further support outside of being more physically active, an important part of the Active Wellbeing Service.”
learning from the service has shown that after just 3 months, 55% of patients who accessed the Active Wellbeing service saw an improvement in their mental wellbeing and 26% said they had improved access to services in their area.
Tony Bush, Interim Director at Active Suffolk said:
“At Active Suffolk, we understand how crucial partnership working is. Our relationships with other organisations across the county are key in ensuring we achieve our core objectives.
“I’m very proud that our latest partner satisfaction survey, indicate that 97% of our stakeholders agree that our work is of significant value to them too.
“The collaborative work of our Active Wellbeing service with social prescribers in Suffolk is just one great example of that.”
The Active Wellbeing service, delivered by the Active Suffolk team offers support to older, inactive adults in several specific locations across the county. The partnership with social prescribing teams, such as the Connect for Health Scheme, is essential to ensure patients are fully supported no matter their needs.
Discover more about Sophie and her role as a social prescriber in Suffolk at www.activesuffolk.org/social-prescribing
Find out more about the Connect for Health project at www.suffolkfamilycarers.org/connectforhealth/
For more information about the Active Wellbeing service visit www.activesuffolk.org/the-active-wellbeing-service
For further information, please contact Chris Lawson, Project Officer for Active Suffolk at email@example.com