Hello everyone

I hope many of you got a bit of a break over the summer - I certainly noticed my email traffic slow down for a little bit.  After taking some time off during August,  I find myself trying to gear back up again.   Our SPN inbox has provided lots of items to share in this month's newsletter.  There are several interesting articles to read, especially the analysis of six years of Ways to Wellness, which demonstrates the benefits achieved by a mature social prescribing scheme.

We also have several opportunities for your voices and opinions to contribute to research being conducted, and conferences being held.  Or you may fancy joining a new community of practice or going to a Health Equity festival?   We also share information on funding from Music for Dementia, more videos from our International Conference in March, and a suite of videos courtesy of Healthy London Partnership. 

The next few weeks will see us launching our 4th International Social Prescribing Network Conference and shortly after that the 3rd Social Prescribing Network Awards  - it's going to be a busy autumn.

Keep social prescribing,


Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network


This month we show some more sessions from the 3rd International Social Prescribing Network Conference last March.   These cover the role of the natural environment in social prescribing, the International afternoon which includes a keynote from Dr. Kate Mulligan and presentations from many other countries and the session on social prescribing for children and young people.  Finally have a look at the virtual tours of some of the amazing social prescribing schemes in Greater Manchester. 
11-12pm 5th March 2021: Seed & community - what is the role of the natural environment in social prescribing. Co-Chaired by Dr. Michelle Howarth and Dr. Richard Kimberlee.
Whole session recording, 5th March, 1.45-4pm. Keynote from Kate Mulligan with Q&A, followed by presentations from around the world. Co-Chairs Marty Crapper and Alyson McGregor
Whole session recording 12-1pm, 4th March 2021- Advantage accumulates, Social Prescribing for Children and Young People. Co-Chaired by Jo Ward and Paul Jarvis-Beesley
12.15-12.45pm, 5th March 2021 - Virtual tours of Manchester Be Well, Salford be Well & Stockport Viaduct Care,

Funding opportunity - Music for Dementia                                     
After announcing four more grantees are receiving money to expand their musical services for people with dementia and their carers, Music for Dementia has partnered with the National Academy for Social Prescribing to create a second round of funding in order to support even more people. They have a great range of resources and events which you can access via their website or sign up for their newsletter


The Ways to Wellness social prescribing service was launched in April 2015, to support people with long-term conditions in the west of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Their recent report, ‘Ways to Wellness: The First Six Years’ explains their approach in more detail, and what has been learned since the service was established. 

The executive summary, full report plus video clips from patients, link workers, and key stakeholders is available online.

Understanding loneliness: a systematic review of the impact of social prescribing initiatives on loneliness

This paper by Reinhardt, Vidovic & Hammerton highlights social prescribing as a useful tool in addressing loneliness and the need for further research. You can download the full paper here

Ways to Wellness Report: The First Six Years

Can social prescribing foster individual community well-being: A systematic review of the evidence -

Carried out by Vidovic, Reinhardt & Hammerton 2021  this systematic review suggests that if we wish to know the potential of social prescribing to lead to universal financially sustainable healthcare, researchers and practitioners need to standardise definitions and metrics, and to explore conceptual linkages between social prescribing and system/community outcomes.  The open-access paper is available here.

Social prescribing in the media

Wired magazine recently published a celebratory article on social prescribing.  In case you missed it, you can find it here.


Some of you also spotted an article on social prescribing in the August edition of Good Housekeeping.

Resources & Events

Healthy London Partnership

Healthy London Partnership have commissioned a series of films to promote Social Prescribing in London and support the London system to help spread and scale personalised care across the region.

The films are a great resource that aims to; increase peoples knowledge about Social Prescribing across health and social care and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations; demonstrate how people can and are working together, enhance conversations between organisations and teams to better understand local population needs and address health inequalities.

The films include fantastic examples of the positive effects and impact social prescribing has made in different areas across London.

Click on the links below to watch this series and other films produced on the Healthy London Partnership YouTube channel.

  1. Social Prescribing – Transforming Health for London
  2. How the pandemic impacted needs
  3. Prevention and Empowerment for Self-Care
  4. Social Prescribing in Multi-Disciplinary Teams
  5. Social Prescribing Partnership Working
  6. Connecting Primary Care with the Community
  7. Patient Story: Alzheimer’s
  8. Patient Story: Antidepressants

The full playlist can be found here.

New programme launches to fuel innovation in social prescribing

A new programme has been launched to help national voluntary organisations from across multiple sectors particularly financial wellbeing, arts, nature and physical activity to work together alongside local communities to increase the scale and impact of social prescribing activities.

The Accelerating Innovation in social prescribing programme is led by the National Academy for Social Prescribing, Royal Voluntary Service and NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with others. 


It will bring together a community of practice of national organisations to support their needs and drive innovation to help maximise their contribution to the growing social prescribing community. This will include developing good connections with local health and care and community groups, harnessing existing skills and assets, and sharing innovative best practice to grow the provision of social prescribing activities. 

Find out more, or register your interest in joining the Community of Practice by 3 October 2021.

London Health Equity Festival: Harvesting sustainable seeds of change 21st & 27th September 7-9.30pm

You can register for this 2-day online event (limited live spaces available on the 27th at Bromley By Bow) here.      

The aim of this event is to re-imagine Primary Care Networks and enable change for our patients, ourselves, and our world.                                     

It is being hosted by the RCGP North East London Faculty in collaboration with NHS East London Health & Care Partnership, NHS North London Partners in health and care, and QMUL, with the help of the Bromley by Bow Centre's Insights Team.
There will be a focus on stories of co-creating health with communities around violence reduction; reframing safeguarding and medical diagnoses without racism; how vegetable gardens in GP surgeries have transformed care; kinder GP Appraisal and what gets in the way of compassionate care; making time matter and much more.

Arts 4 Dementia report launch


Arts 4 Dementia's is extending an invitation to attend their online report launch  "A.R.T.S. for Brain Health: Social Prescribing as Diagnostic Practice for Dementia" on World Alzheimer’s Day, Tuesday 21 September, 10 – 11.30 am.

The report aims to transform early diagnostic practice for dementia, to refer patients at the onset of symptoms, to social prescribing for empowering arts opportunities to preserve brain health.

A.R.T.S. (Activities to Revitalise The Soul) for Brain Health presents findings from Arts 4 Dementia's two-year campaign to achieve social prescribing as automatic practice for dementia.  The report addresses diagnostic and social prescribing practice, modifying risk factors for dementia through healthy and creative ageing, A.R.T.S practice to preserve brain health, programme partnerships and funding.

For more information and to register for this free event, visit Eventbrite here.

Research participants needed - Social prescribing in older adults 

Rachel Lawrence, University of Surrey is investigating the current and ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Social Prescribing services which provide support for older adults, from the perspective of those who work in social prescribing. This is part of their Psychology PhD.  Rachel is recruiting people to take part in an online survey.

To participate, you must work with older adults in your job role and have worked within social prescribing  before and during the Covid-19 pandemic and fit into one of the three groups: 

1. You work within an organisation/service that provides SP for older adults. 

2. You are an SP Link Worker (or Community Navigator – which they are sometimes called) who works directly with older adults to develop their social prescription.  

3. You work within the Voluntary, Community Faith and Social Enterprise Sector for an organisation that provides the social prescription for older adults which a Link Worker refers to. 

You can find further information & take part online here.

Research participants needed - Understanding social prescribing for children & young people to improve mental health & wellbeing

Funded by emerging Minds, Dr Daniel Hayes at University College of London is looking to understand how social prescribing can improve mental health and wellbeing for children and young people.  They are calling for clinicians, link workers, organisations involved in social prescribing, as well as children and young people to take part. 

You can download further details in the research summary and information sheet


Research participants needed

South Downs National Park Authority has commissioned research to establish a baseline of information on the Park and social prescribing, including the potential for further development of social prescribing in and around the National Park. This includes the organisations using the Park for social prescribing activity, how these organisations operate, and the type of activities taking place.

Are you involved in social prescribing around this area, particularly individuals engaged in commissioning social prescribing services and/or activities.

South Downs National Park Authority & SP

Interviews will take approximately 45 minutes and a topic guide is available for download here.  Please contact Ross Murray on 07826 747 478  to take part.  They also have an online survey which you can access here.

Call for abstracts -  Nature-based social prescriptions

Dr. Carly Wood from the University of Essex and colleagues are calling for contributers to an edition of Frontiers in Psychology on nature-based social prescribing.  This edition aims to bring together articles focused on the feasibility of prescribing nature-based activities for the treatment of ill-health and to explore the range of health and wellbeing benefits that can be derived from participation in different nature-based social prescriptions. They are particularly interested in submissions which comprise of:

• Research that explores the feasibility of prescribing different types of nature-based physical activities
• Research that utilises both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the health benefits of nature-based social prescriptions
• Quantitative research examining both the physiological and psychological benefits of nature-based social prescriptions
• Research that compares the outcomes of different types of nature-based activities, or different types of social prescriptions (e.g., art-based activities) to nature-based social prescriptions.

More information & abstract submission is available here

Call for papers & posters  - Rural Health & Care Conference 

Rural Health and Care Conference 2021 is open for paper and poster applications for their “When Challenges lead to Change – improvements and innovation in Rural Health and Care” conference on the 9th and 10th November 2021.  The conference will be held online and in person. 

The closing date for submission of applications is 17th September 2021 and this year has a section specifically for students. You download the application form here.


Do you have something you would like use to share? Tweet us @SocialPrescrib2 or send an email to

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