International Social Prescribing Day 2021 on 18th March is an event aiming to foster an attitudinal change, to shift the power to the people and local communities, to forge cross-sectoral collaboration, to promote co-design and co-creation, and to ensure social prescribing continues to grow as a grassroots movement. Here we provide an introduction to social prescribing and the role Living Sport plays in supporting communities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

  • What is social prescribing and how does it work?

Social prescribing makes the link between our health, and the things that can have an impact on it – like finances, what is happening at home, and our social connections. Social Prescribing Link Workers are based in GP surgeries, and help people connect to activities in their community for practical and emotional support, which can help them manage health conditions and improve their wellbeing.

  • What are the benefits of social prescribing?

Social prescribing helps people live the best life they can, looking beyond traditional medical approaches to health – helping them have more choice and control over their lives, to find or reconnect to the things that make them happy, and build relationships in the places they live.  

  • What role does Living Sport play?

Physical activity is not only important for staying well, it also has huge potential to connect people and communities for wellbeing. Living Sport is working with Social Prescribing Link Workers to support them in connecting with local activity providers and clubs, understanding what is available, and helping design and fund specific activity programmes to meet local needs.   

  • An example project in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Living Sport have worked with Cambridge United Community Trust, providing funding through Sport England's Tackling Inequalities Fund to develop a programme collaborating with East Barnwell Health Centre targeting men who are overweight, creating a safe social group where they can exercise together, and including dedicated time to socialise and offer peer support. The programme is due to start in the coming weeks.

If you are a Social Prescribing Link Worker looking to explore developing local physical activity programmes, or a group or organisation interested in connecting with social prescribers in your area, contact Michael Firek.