Hello everyone

Welcome to our latest newsletter on all things social prescribing.  

As we continue planning the 4th International Social Prescribing Network conference, we are delighted to announce that abstract submission is now open. So if you are in the process of carrying out research or evaluation on social prescribing, anywhere in the world, do consider submitting an abstract. 

Abstracts will be peer reviewed, some will be selected for oral presentations during our conference programme, other for posters.  We have avoided setting categories for the research or evaluation, instead we will create categories when we see what is submitted.  This conference attracts a global audience of over 1000 people, so is a great way to disseminate research data to other researchers, to practitioners and policy makers.  You can download our information document here and submit your abstract online via Oxford Abstracts.  The deadline for submission is Friday 10th December 5 pm BST

It is great to see people already booking tickets for our international conference via the booking page here  and we will keep you updated as bring the programme together.  We have deliberately kept ticket prices as low as we can, especially for students, unwaged delegates and for the VCFSE sector.   
If you are on the ground and involved with a social prescribing scheme, do check out how you can submit an entry for the 3rd Social Prescribing Network Awards.  We recognise celebrate the people who are going above to support people with unmet needs via social prescribing.  

As well as the range of research, jobs and social prescribing resources we are sharing this month, we are also delighted to open booking for our first FREE training courses for link workers, on the importance of food.  This online 3.5 hour course will support link workers to feel more confident with opening conversations with clients around food related issues. We are also adding in some selfcare support for link workers themselves.  This is a collaboration with the College of Medicine and funded by the AIM Foundation.  You can find more details below. 

So thank you for all your hard work and keep social prescribing,

Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network


FREE link worker training - understanding the importance of food


In collaboration with The College of Medicine, the Social Prescribing Network is running a new course, 'Understanding the importance of food' for link workers training funded by The AIM Foundation.

This short online course is available for free for all UK-based link workers and will cover topics including the impact different types of food have on your mind and body; theory behind behavioural change; community approaches to food and nutrition, professional boundaries and self-care.  There will also be case studies to develop confidence in knowing when and how to open up and manage conversations around food/food poverty/malnutrition/weight management within your professional boundaries.  The course will be online for a total of 3.5 hours, split over 2 days

Booking is now available for November and December courses.  For more information and booking, visit The College of Medicine events page and scroll down to 17th November or 1st December.                

Social Prescribing Network conference videos from March 2021

Looking back at this year's conference content has been a good opportunity for reflection on how much has happened in the world of social prescribing even in just the last seven months - we can't wait to see what next March holds.  Below is the last of our videos from the 3rd International Social Prescribing Network Conference.  Next month all of the conference video content will be available on our YouTube channel so they are easily accessible for everyone.
Whole session recording, Carers & social prescribing - the challenges carers face & how social prescribing is responding to these needs.  Co-chairs Tim Anfilogoff & Malcolm Bray
Whole session recording, Covid-19 & social prescribing - how social prescribing has performed during the pandemic & the impact of the pandemic on social prescribing.  Co-chairs Dr. Kerryn Husk & Prof. Helen Chatterjee
Whole session recording, Innovations in social prescribing - how social prescribing is expanding into new sectors & locations.  Co-chairs Dr. Marie Polley & Sian Brand.
Whole session recording, Understanding the key aspect of social prescribing - findings from realist & traditional research into components of social prescribing schemes.  Co-chairs Prof. Carolyn Wallace & Dr. Michelle Howarth

M-ARC-H Network Funding ends and a WHO collaborating Centre for Arts and Health is born
The M-ARC-H network led by Dr Daisy Fancourt at UCL, held its last celebration event after 3 years of funding to understand the role of social, cultural and community assets  play in enhancing public mental health and wellbeing, preventing mental illness and supporting those living with mental health conditions.  The MARCH network has enabled early career researchers, funding bids and collaborations to flourish, and social prescribing has been a key part of the research in many cases.  The Social Prescribing Network has been delighted to support MARCH over the last three years.   MARCH will leave a legacy site where all of its work can be found...
...but that is not the end.  Daisy announced the creation of a WHO collaborating Centre for Arts and Health – the first of its kind - firmly cementing the acceptance of the impact of Arts on our health.
The new Collaborating Centre for Arts & Health, aims to:
1. Carry out world-class research into how the arts, culture and heritage affect mental and physical health, build stronger communities and reduce inequalities.
2. Work with world-leading researchers in the UK and internationally to develop and improve arts and health policy globally.
3. Provide training programmes, toolkits, and resources to support development in the field, including facilitating opportunities for early career researchers.

Social Prescribing guides for choirs & singing groups

The Singing for Health Network is delighted to announce they have published the long-awaited guides for Social Prescribing to Choirs and Singing Groups.  Created in consultation with partners and professionals across the arts and health sectors, the resources are designed to support successful referrals to choirs and a happier, healthier singing nation.

As well as helping Social Prescribers and singing groups to find each other, the guides address the importance of a good match between a patient’s specific needs and the huge diversity of singing groups available and encourage conversations and taster visits to give the best chance of successful referrals. The guides also include questionnaires to help Social Prescribers and singing group leaders get the right procedures in place.

You can find out more and download the free guides on their website.                                                   

Arts 4 Dementia training

Early-Stage Dementia Awareness Training for Arts and Heritage Organisations is an interactive early-stage dementia awareness training specifically for arts facilitators and learning teams from arts organisations. You can find out more information and book at Eventbrite.

A.R.T.S for Brain Health Report

Arts 4 Dementia’s two-year campaign to advance social prescribing to arts and wellbeing activity for people at the onset of dementia has resulted in a new report. A.R.T.S. for Brain Health: Social Prescribing as Diagnostic Practice for Dementia the outcome of two national conferences and fifteen regional cross-sector meetings and the testimony of over 400 speakers is now available.

Social Prescribing stories

One of the things we champion the most in social prescribing is how important and powerful peoples stories are, they are a good reminder of why social prescribing needs to be local and personal and it's stories like this one, from Debs Teale, who is one of our steering committee members they show just how important the work everyone is doing is.  She has recently written a blog for sounddelivery media which you can read here.
 Art work by Debs Teale


We are recruiting a full-time Senior Research Assistant at the Wales School for Social Prescribing Research (WSSPR) based at University of South Wales, fixed term contract until 31/03/2023. Closing date for applications is 02/11/2021. Starting salary is £30,497 per annum.
This post holder will work with the academic lead for WSSPR Professor Carolyn Wallace to deliver upon agreed objectives and develop the programme of research exploring social prescribing in Wales. Specifically, the post holder will be responsible for developing and testing social prescribing evaluation framework, reporting standards and training materials. Click here for more information (
English) / (Welsh)

For an informal conversation about this post, please contact

Call for participants

Social prescribing service users research
Teesside University is currently recruiting for a research project that is looking to explore the views and experiences of social prescribing service users and the impact that the pandemic has had. They are looking to speak to anyone who has accessed a social prescribing or mental health service in the last 12 months or is a current service user.  You can download the recruitment flyer or contact Matthew Cooper ( for further information.

Developing co-shadowing

Following on from the ‘Power in Our Communities’ conversations, Outside The Box is working with SENScot and others to trial the idea of ‘Co-Shadowing’. Co-shadowing has been identified as a way to build in opportunities for mutual learning, helping trusting, collaborative partnerships develop.  

They've created materials on how co-shadowing can work and are asking people to get in touch if you can help develop the idea. 

Learn more about co-shadowing here: Developing ‘Co-shadowing’  


Power in Our Communities: Summary Note 

Their Summary Report of the Power in Our Communities conversations brings together key ideas and learning points from people in the Community sector across Scotland – on building trusting partnerships with HSCPs, communicating local supports, evidencing impacts and more.  

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

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The SPN is part of the College of Medicine which is a registered charity in England and Wales (1145676) and is a registered company (07081291). The College of Medicine’s registered office is c/0 West & Berry, Mocatta House, Trafalgar Place, Brighton, BN1 4DU. 
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