Hello everyone

This is my first newsletter after taking on the role of Co-Chair from Dr Marie Polley. 

We come back after our summer break to the very sad news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth ll has been a constant in all of our lives, a hard-working mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. We are grateful for her many years of faithful service, care and inspiration.

As a network we send our sincere condolences to King Charles III and his family. He has been a key supporter of social prescribing and the Social Prescribing Network since its inception, speaking at several of our conferences. We also send him wishes for a long and happy reign.
Whilst we have been spending time in a period of national mourning it is also a time for reflection. A time to think about good memories, achievements, and times passed. It may also however bring thoughts relating to our own personal losses and social prescribing can as we know can help people connect with appropriate support. Even being connected to family and friends can help have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing in such challenging times. It’s also recognising as well, that healing, and change takes time.

In the words of Her Majesty

“It's worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change." - Christmas broadcast, 2019.

A truly fitting quote for social prescribing
In the newsletter this month we are bringing you the last of our conference videos from our day 2 keynote Dr Lee Kheng Hock from SingHealth Community Hospital, Social Prescribing from around the world and the day 2 research breakout sessions. We also have a request for involvement in a research project from Unforgettable Experiences, an organisation that supports people with mental health needs. Do have a look to see if you can get involved. Finally, you will see the government has been busy announcing or discussing various 'on-prescription' schemes.

By the time we get to next month's newsletter edition many of you will be well into the throws of winter planning in communities, so please do share how you are supporting local people through these challenging times. Let's share some of the good practice that's happening out there.

Stay connected and keep social prescribing!


Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network


Keynote from Dr Lee Kheng Hock, SingHealth Community Hospitals, Singapore & Models of Social Prescribing from Around the World with Mr Hamaad Khan, Ms Delia Beck, Dr Cristiano Figueredo, Dr Kate Mulligan, Miia Palo Ms Sian Slade - Social Prescribing in Australia.

Co-chaired by Helen Chatterjee & Victoria Hume, this session looks at the latest research and discussion on social prescribing from the arts and culture sector.
Ms Veronica Franklin Gould, Arts 4 Dementia
Dr Stephanie Tierney, University of Oxford
Ms Louisa Peters, University of Huddersfield
Dr Nicola Holt, University of the West of England
Pulaporn Sreewichian, Glasgow Caledonian University
Co-chaired by Jules ford & Kerryn Husk This session looks at the latest research and discussion from the world of green social prescribing.
Dr Michelle Howarth/Ms Anna da Silva/Dr Cormac Lawler -  University of Salford
Sureya Gulzar, The Mindkind Projects CIC
Ms Claire Wicks, University of Essex/Dr Carly Wood, University of Essex
Mr Jon Grace, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership; Salford CVS
Nina Smyth
Co-chaired by Chris Dayson & Carolyn Wallace this session looks at the latest findings and discussion on social prescribing research evaluations and systematic reviews.
Prof. Gina Yannitell, University of Essex
Dr Helen Seers/Dr Marie Polley, Consultancy
Dr Marcello Bertotti, University of East London
Dr Caroline Brett, Liverpool John Moores University 
Dr Bryony Porter, University of East Anglia (Presentation delivered by a Research Team member Cate Wood, Senior Lecturer in Public Health Birmingham City University)
Co-chaired by Kate Mulligan & David Robinson, this session looks at research findings and discussions in social prescribing in different parts of the world.
Ms Clare Cook/Alison Leitch, Scottish Social Prescribing Network
Dr Dragana Vidovic, University of Essex
Ms Wei-teng Chiang, University College London
Ms Caitlin Muhl, Queens University, Kingston

Research request 

Do you know someone who would like to take part in a national research programme at a local level?  Unforgettable Experiences are looking for people to take part in therapeutic programmes tailored to help the mind and improve memory and mental health…
Unforgettable Experiences have been awarded research and innovation funding from Innovate UK (UKRI) and are working with The University of Sheffield - Healthy Lifespan Institute  to understand how their service objectively improves brain function.
Unforgettable Experiences are offering free, one-houronline sessions, twice a week for a total of 12 sessions, to anyone who is aged 50+ with a mental health condition (mild to severe), dementia (mild to moderate), a mild cognitive impairment or any neurological condition.  These sessions have cognitive stimulation therapy embedded within them and the research is looking into how in which the service helps to improve, for example, memory, vocabulary, cognition and executive functioning.
Participants can choose from sessions in art, creative writing, culture & history, music & composition or photography.
To refer someone or find out more phone: 01325 238007 or / quoting Innovate Research- NSPN” and please detail the name and contact phone and address/email of the individual you would like to refer or if you simply would like to find out more.
Unforgettable Experiences look forward to hearing from you soon.
Website - 
Facebook - UnforgetExp
Twitter - @UnforgetExp
Linked In - Unforgettable Experiences

Research & Reports

Social Prescribing: Systematic Review

Published in the International Journal of Integrated Care, 'Social Prescribing: Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Psychosocial Community Referral Interventions in Primary Care' concluded that current evidence suggests positive effects of SP on a variety of relevant endpoints. However, they highlighted that due to quality deficits in the available studies, the scope for conclusions concerning clinical relevance and sustainability is limited and called for further methodologically rigorous controlled trials are needed.
National Voices Report

Published in June, 'Changing lives, changing places, changing systems - making progress on social prescribing' explores what needs to happen to engage a wider set of stakeholders with planning, funding and delivering social prescribing services and the community activities, groups and services upon which they rely across places and within new Integrated Care Systems. You can download the report here.

Unemployment and insecure housing are linked to less successful treatment for depression
People who are unemployed or who live in insecure housing (staying with friends, in hostels, or homeless) respond less well to treatment for depression than others. Recent research found that people in unfavourable social circumstances were more likely to have poor treatment outcomes than those in secure employment or homeowners. This applied regardless of the type of treatment, whether medicines (antidepressants), talking therapy or structured exercise. The results of this study provide more understanding as to why social prescribing is beneficial. You can access the article from the National Institute for Health and Care Research here or the original paper here.
Consultations & Proposals

Walking, wheeling and cycling on prescription

The government announced in August that social prescriptions, including walking, wheeling and cycling, will be offered by GPs as part of a new trial to improve mental and physical health and reduce disparities across the country.

The government has awarded £12.7 million in multi-year funding to 11 local authority areas in England. The funding will go towards several pilot projects in each location, including adult cycle training, free bike loans and walking groups. The full press release with further details is available here


Energy on prescription

A new proposal from the government would mean GPs could write prescriptions for money off energy bills for the most vulnerable under a plan drawn up by the Treasury, as Liz Truss’s team signalled more help with costs now forecast to top £6,000 next year. Read the full article in The Guardian here.


Social tariffs for broadband

A new government scheme could be a great help to families who are digitally excluded due to the costs of internet access. A new service, which will be run by the Department for Work and Pensions, will allow internet service providers to verify – with customers’ permission – whether they are in receipt of a relevant benefit and therefore eligible for extra financial support. Read the full article here.

Consultation on Social Prescribing in Wales                                 

At the end of July, the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing launched a consultation on social prescribing, which will seek people’s views to plan a future framework for access to non-clinical, community-based support, which can include a range of activities, each playing a role in an early preventative approach by enhancing people’s well-being.

The new framework will set out standards, guidance and actions developed at a national level to ensure consistency of delivery across Wales.

People are encouraged to consider the content and questions set out and respond to the consultation and to share the consultation with colleagues, interested stakeholders and networks so that new standards and guidance can be created as part of the national framework to embed social prescribing services across Wales. The consultation ends October 20th 2022.

A copy of the consultation and a short film about the proposed model of social prescribing for Wales can be found at:

Developing a national framework for social prescribing | GOV.WALES

Datblygu fframwaith cenedlaethol ar gyfer presgripsiynu cymdeithasol | LLYW.CYMRU

Social Prescribing in the News

Last week The Guardian featured an article on the benefits of nature and research projects exploring this. One thing we were delighted to see was that social prescribing was mentioned in the article with no explanation of what it is, perhaps social prescribing is becoming a part of the common vocabulary at last. You can read the full article here.     

Jobs & oppourtunities

Forestry England Community Coordinator Job

Forestry England is looking for a new Community Coordinator to join the team at Westonbirt National Arboretum to engage local communities. You’ll be passionate about supporting positive mental health and equity of access to green spaces. In this role, you’ll widen access to their world-class tree collection, support the delivery of Westonbirt Wellbeing programmes, build fantastic partnerships, and develop and deliver engagement and outreach programmes. The closing date for applications is Thursday 29 September 2022.

Further details and applications are available online.

Creative Health & Wellbeing Alliance Awards 2022: Artist Commission

Are you an artist or creative collective based in South Yorkshire? 
Do you want to be part of celebrating the work of the culture/health and wellbeing sector?
If so, apply to be the Artist for the CHWA Awards 2022.
They would like to commission an artist or creative collective, based in their home county of South Yorkshire, to create the bespoke physical awards for the winners of the CHWA Awards 2022.

The award winners will be announced and the awards virtually presented at a ceremony on Friday 25 November, 1-2pm. For more information and to apply, visit the Creative Health & Wellbeing Alliance website. The application deadline is September 23rd 2022.


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