Social Prescribing Day on Thursday 9 March 2023

Social Prescribing Day on Thursday 9 March 2023

Today marks #SocialPrescribingDay. It is a chance to recognise the valuable impact that social prescribing brings to our local communities.

Over the past few years, we have seen the introduction of this new role within primary care. Since joining the primary care family, social prescribers have made a huge impact on improving outcomes for our residents.

Social prescribing is a way of actively connecting people to activities, groups and services that can improve their health and wellbeing.  For example, people may visit their GP because they may be feeling stressed about their work, money, or because they are lonely and isolated. But these problems cannot be fixed by medicine, or doctors alone.  Social prescribing links people to a range of activities and services, based on their situation and preferences.

Dancing on Prescription is one of many local initiatives that social prescribers from GP practices in Basildon are helping to connect residents to.  The initiative is in collaboration with Basildon Council and Active Essex to help resident to connect with others and be more active.

To find out about social prescribers and other professionals now available through your GP practices, head to our PCN Finder


Social prescribing is a way of linking people to nonmedical sources of support within their local community. It is increasingly being used by health care professionals to help people with a range of issues, such as mental health, social isolation, and physical health. This day seeks to raise awareness of the potential of social prescribing in improving health and wellbeing, and highlight the importance of collaboration between health and social care.



What is Social Prescribing? An example of social prescribing is a link worker connecting a person with a mental health issue to a community gardening group. This allows the person to engage in meaningful activities, build social connections, and gain a sense of purpose. The link worker would coordinate the referral, provide support and guidance, and monitor the person‘s progress.

Who are Social Prescribers? Social Prescribers are health or social care professionals who link people to non-clinical services and support within their community. They offer a holistic approach to health, taking into account the social, economic, and environmental factors which can have an impact on people’s health and wellbeing. They work in partnership with local organisations, charities, and support services to provide tailored advice and support to individuals, enabling them to better manage their own health and wellbeing.


Take a look at these case studies to gain insight into how we‘ve been able to assist others.

Case Study 1: A 55-year-old woman, called (AC) had been out of work for some time, resulting in her mental wellbeing taking a hit. She had a history of depression and was not satisfied with her job, but she was lucky to have a supportive boyfriend, as well as still receiving full sick pay. Without structure and routine due to her absence from work, she was referred to Social Prescribing to help her reach her goals. Refusing anti-depressants, she wanted to be more active and was referred to Trust Links for an outdoor activity, Metal for an 8-week art group, SAVS Supported Volunteering, and the National Careers Service for skills, tests, and career advice. Over two weeks, AC was called to ensure the referrals were on track. With the help of these activities and services, AC was able to develop coping strategies, gain confidence in her skills, and was nearly ready to apply for new jobs.


Case Study 2: (TW) is a single mother of three children, two of whom are autistic. Recently, she was signed off work due to confusion. To help her cope, she was referred to Southend Carers for counselling and the Council for a short break grant. She was also referred to Send the Right Message, Yoga for Health, and Early Help, but was hesitant due to fear of her children being removed. Financial difficulties were resolved with foodbank vouchers and Scope and Healthwatch were contacted for advice on her son‘s Cerebral Palsy diagnosis. Thanks to Social Prescribing, TW was able to access a wide range of help and support, including job coaching through Access to Work and a resource pack about Autism. Today, TW is back at work and feeling strong and determined. She is thankful for the support Social Prescribing has provided her and her family.


Case Study 3: (Mr B) was referred in December 2021 for a variety of issues, including mental health, housing, social isolation, debt, and bereavement. Through regular conversations, Mr B was able to express his wishes to become more active and healthy and make social connections. The support provided by the Social Prescribing service included referrals, signposts, and a reliable contact. As a result, Mr B was able to attend a mental wellbeing group, receive therapy, join the Safe Harbour bereavement support group, receive help from Rape Crisis, see a diabetes nurse, a GP, Southend in Sight, a Health Coach, and join Fusion Gym. After a few setbacks, Mr B is now in safe accommodation, losing weight, and working to bring his diabetes under control. He is planning to find work in the field of wellbeing to support others.


Case Study 4: This case study is about an elderly lady who had been suffering from loneliness and low mood since the passing of her husband eight years ago. She had also lost her confidence to socialise and was scared of falling if she went out for walks due to her unsteady feet. The social prescriber provided her with details of multiple counsellors within her area and referred her to Folk Like Us. Through their conversations, the elderly lady has since made contact with a counsellor and was due to visit Folk Like Us. She also decided to go for short walks, bumped into her neighbour and they arranged to go for walks together. The elderly lady now recognises the importance of taking these steps in order to feel better and less isolated.


Click here to find out more information about Social Prescribing in Southend

Faye Owens