Social prescribing involves helping people to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing by connecting them to non-medical activities and local community services. Spark Somerset is a key partner in developing Social Prescribing networks in the county.
Our Social Prescribing Coordinator works with GP's and Health Coaches in South Somerset. They are a 'community builder', providing community development support to make existing groups and activities more sustainable and to help new groups and activities start-up where there is a need.
Thriving Communities Somerset
We are delivering Thriving Communities Somerset in partnership with TAKE ART and SOMERSET WILDLIFE TRUST. Our aim is to strengthen and expand the range of health and wellbeing activities available in Somerset.
These activities form part of Social Prescribing, a national initiative where people are supported to engage in community-based activities and services that can help them feel happier and healther. This could include peer support groups, physical activities, social groups, debt advice services and volunteering opportunities.
So far, Thriving Communities Somerset has supported the development of seven new social prescribing projects and we are now working with stakeholders to help activity providers become more sustainable and better connected with the local health and care system.
We have also held four ‘Social Prescribing Showcase’ events in each of the districts between October 2021 and January 2022. These brought together over 150 staff and volunteers from 90+ VCSE and statutory organisations to network and share learning.
Projects we've supported:
- 'Building Raised Beds and Growing Edible Plants' - therapeutic horticulture sessions, delivered by Eco Food Creations
- ‘Thriving Voices’ - singing groups to improve respiratory health, delivered by Bluebird Theatre
- ‘Earn a Bike Plus Digital Filming Skills’ workshops, delivered by On Your Bike and Somerset Film
- Creativity and nature course set in the Wellington and Quantocks AONBs, delivered by Somerset Art Works, Somerset Wildlife Trust and Mind in Somerset
- ‘Meads and Marshes’ - nature-based art and mindfulness group, delivered by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Somerset Recovery College
- ‘Word/Play’ sessions for people with respiratory and other long term health conditions, delivered by Take Art
- ‘Postcards to Recovery’ - creative, nature or physical activity postcard prompts for discharged patients, delivered by Caroline Barnes and Yeovil District Hospital
"The fresh air and having something to do each week has really improved my confidence and my anxiety is at an all time low!"
Participant, Building Raised Beds and Growing Edible Plants
Health & Wellbeing Directories
Spark Somerset also manage the South Somerset and Sedgemoor Health & Wellbeing Directories, essential tools for health practitioners and the public to find social prescribing activities and support in the community and through Health and Social care networks.
You can find out more about our work to promote healthy communities on our Projects Page.