Hello everyone

Here at SPN headquarters, we took a bit of downtime after our 4th International Social Prescribing Network Conference.  The rest of you, however, are all fired up and pushing forwards with ideas, with events, with training and with all things social prescribing!

This newsletter rounds up some of the amazing events that are happening through May and June  - we know this is just a drop in the ocean compared to what is actually happening.  We also bring more funding calls to your attention including one from the UKRI and one from the Health Foundation.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted their social prescribing reports via our grey literature database, we are updating the google sheet and will replace the current one soon.  Please keep sending us any social prescribing reports you have so we can collect them together for you all to see and analyse.

CPD certificates for our conference have been requested so these should be on their way to you shortly.  If you haven't requested yours but would still like one you have until May 16th so please email us at

In the meantime, have a look at our speakers from our conference talking about the role of primary care and health creation.   We know there is a lot of negative press about GPs currently but here at SPN office we just wanted to say that we greatly appreciate all the GPs who are helping to embed social prescribing into primary care - thank you for supporting social prescribing. 

Keep social prescribing everyone - we are making progress and changing people's lives.

Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network


Whole session recording from our day 1 session on Primary Care, Health Creation and the role of Social Prescribing.  This session examined changing the 'system' set up and looked at how the Integrated Care Systems can be used for health creation and developing relationships with the local community.  Co-chaired by Dr Michael Dixon, Sir Sam Everington with speakers Ian Dodge, Dave Sweeney, Darin Halifax and Merron Simpson.

Education Standards for Link Workers Consultation                                          

The National Association of Link Workers is the professional body for Social Prescribing Link Workers in the UK and is committed to upholding the confidence and integrity of the profession by ensuring patients, clients, service users, and communities receive high-quality social prescribing services. As part of this commitment, they seek wider views on their draft Education Standards for Link Workers. The draft NALW Education Standards have been coproduced by their Professional Practice and Development Committee and a range of stakeholders. Feedback will be reviewed and contributed to a final co-produced document to be published on #LinkWorkerDay2022 19th May. You can view the standards and take part here.


Call for contributions to Perspectives in Public Health
Contributions are invited for this Special Issue on 'Recovery outside of mental health services: what can public health contribute?'. They are interested in hearing about practice and research that focuses on increasing wellbeing as it relates to mental health, and which is not necessarily situated in statutory mental health services. Research can cover the entire age span from childhood through to end-of-life and can be conducted anywhere in the world. More information, author guidelines and submission is available online. The submission deadline is September 23rd, 2022.

UKRI Funding opportunity: Building Community Research Consortia to tackle Health Disparities

Led by AHRC, with support from MRC, NERC and ESRC, Building Community Research Consortia to tackle Health Disparities will open for applications on the UKRI website on 3rd May 2022 (Deadline: 20th June 2022) .

This call is part of the Mobilising Community Assets to Tackle Health Disparities programme. Projects funded through this call will improve our understanding of the drivers of deprivation across communities, develop and test new scaleable models for Integrated Care Sytems (ICS) (or devolved equivalents) to interface with community assets, and thereby contribute to level up health outcomes and create healthier communities across the whole of the UK.

Up to £250,000 (fEC) is available for diverse but complementary groups of academics (for example in public health research, health economics, community asset research or health equity research) to work together with non-academic partners, community organisations and health system partners, to build a research consortium at ICS (or devolved nation equivalent) level.

Two webinars will be held for potential applicants led by Professor Helen Chatterjee (Programme Director, Health Disparities) and organised by AHRC on Wednesday 4th May and Tuesday 24th May, both running 1 pm to 2.30 pm. You can register to attend here. The registration form also offers you a chance to find links with potential collaborators if you permit us to share your information.

In collaboration with the National Centre for Creative Health, as part of a national research project supporting this programme, researchers are keen to understand barriers and enablers to community and health partnership working and would be grateful for people's views via this survey

For further information, please contact Arts and Humanities Research Council, Health and Environmental Humanities team via email:



Emotional Support for Young People -  Funding Call from the Health Foundation

This is a new programme funding research into young people's experience of emotional support and how this forms part of the wider determinants of health.  The fund will support four to six teams across the UK with up to £200,000 funding each, to further their research.  The programme is open and will consider applications on a rolling basis, so take a look now.  Funding closes by 6th June.  Please email if you have further queries

Research, Reports and Evaluations

Active Research in Social Prescribing Database will be available soon so if you are currently undertaking research in social prescribing and would like to be listed in our active research google form you can make a submission here.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted information for our new grey literature database which we are in the process of updating.  It is great to see so many reports and evaluations coming in to be added, it is a daily reminder of how much the field of social prescribing has grown and continues to do so. If you want to submit a report or evaluation for the database you can do so here (scroll down to second form).

The database is available to view here.  

Below are some recent submissions for our database.

Impact of Covid 19 on social prescribing in Devon - final report (August 2021)

Making Connections Walsall Social Prescribing Service - summary evaluation report (January 2020)

Integrating additional roles into Primary Care Networks

Read the latest report from The King's Fund exploring the factors affecting the successful implementation and integration of Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme roles within general practice, focusing on the experience of staff working within these roles, to explore what might be done at a national and local level to address any challenges. 

They also have a recent blog on the role of link workers for population health.

Understanding food related issues for link workers

Our last two (free) courses are running in May and June.  If you are a link worker, health and wellbeing coach or care navigator based in the UK then don't miss your chance to register for this free, CPD certified course. The course is run in two parts online, the first session is 2 hours covering theory around food followed by a 1.5-hour interactive case study based session. You can find out more and register online

Heritage for Brain Health Webinar

On Tuesday 10th of May 2022, 10 am-11.30 am Desi Gradinarova, Senior Policy Advisor, Wellbeing and Inclusion Strategy at Historic England and Historic Environment Lead at the National Academy for Social Prescribing, will chair a debate between leaders in social prescribing, culture health and wellbeing, on referral to Heritage and Nature programmes. These free monthly Arts for Brain Health webinars are to help advance social prescribing practice and clarify cross-sector communications to empower people to preserve their brain health, interests and sense of belonging in the otherwise fear-filled isolating months/years leading to a diagnosis of potential dementia.

Speakers will present a range of outdoor, wildlife, archaeological, conservation and carpentry and the social prescribing route, raising awareness from participants to heritage and nature activity. You can find more information and booking here.

Creativity and Wellbeing Week 16th-22nd May 2022

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance are running their creativity and wellbeing week again this year.  During this week there are event happening all around the country and online, covering all aspects of creativity and wellbeing.  Click here to find something near you or to list an event you are organising.
Salford Social Prescribing Conference 2022

This virtual conference on May 26th will explore innovative approaches to help reduce health and social inequalities through social prescribing. The conference will help develop practical ideas and strategies which attendees can take away and implement within their own work and infrastructures. More information and booking is available here.

Integrative & Personalised Medicine 2022
This 3-day 16th-18th of June, event focuses on working together to celebrate a better more, sustainable, hopeful approach to medicine and health, bringing together the various disciplines of healthcare professionals. You can find more information and register here.



Aesop Arts in Health Survey

The third survey of GPs ’ attitudes towards arts interventions, commissioned by Aesop Arts and Society, suggests nearly half of GPs believe the arts can be a cost-effective way to deliver primary care to the public. The majority also believe public engagement with the arts can make a significant contribution to the prevention agenda. However, very few actually refer patients to arts interventions. This is due to a lack of GP awareness of programmes and a lack of evidence of impact; a clear challenge to the arts sector.

The survey was conducted by Savanta ComRes. They interviewed 1,001 UK General Practitioners (GPs) online from 5th to 28th November 2021.

Just under half (47%) of UK GPs agree that arts-based interventions can be a cost-effective way to deliver primary care to the public to improve health outcomes.

Two-thirds of UK GPs agree that public engagement with the arts can make a significant contribution to the prevention agenda.

Despite a belief in the power of the arts. In the past year, only 9% have referred patients to local arts interventions to improve their health.

Barriers raised when referring patients to local arts interventions include a lack of awareness of the programmes amongst GPs (72%) and no clear evidence of impact (31%).

Tim Joss, Founder and Chief Executive of Aesop Arts and Society commented “These survey results present a clear challenge to the arts sector. It must communicate more effectively with health. Health needs well-evidenced arts programmes, just as it needs well-evidenced pills, physiotherapy and Covid vaccines. The message is this: evaluate the health improvements of your programme and shout positive results from the rooftops. If we do this, our voices will be heard, our work will be taken up by the health system and, most importantly, our participants and audiences will enjoy better health.”

Social Prescribing Myth Buster Guide

Created by London Arts and Health, this guide is designed to dispel some of the myths surrounding social prescribing in the arts and cultural sector. Check out this great resource.



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