18 March 2021

Delivering social prescribing across Wessex

Southampton Hospitals Charity and Theatre for Life celebrates funding award to deliver social prescribing across Wessex

Regeneration, a joint initiative between Southampton Children’s Hospital and Theatre for Life will support children and young people to engage with arts, culture, nature, advice and physical activity.

Specifically aimed at young people with a long term medical condition, it will help them to recover from COVID-19 through the power of social prescribing.

Regeneration will give these young people the opportunity to not only manage their own health and wellbeing, but also help them become more physically active. The initiative also looks to reduce isolation and help those with a long term health condition to meet other young people, giving them a sense of belonging and enabling them to have peer support.

Michelle Smith, Artistic Director of Theatre for Life, says:

We’re delighted that The Thriving Communities Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, we will be able to help hundreds of children and young people with long term health conditions to actively engage with their community, gain new experiences and make friends on the way.

Charlotte Otter from Southampton Hospitals Charity, says:

Southampton Children’s Hospital has been greatly affected by COVID-19. The pandemic has meant that patients have had to isolate to prevent any potential spread, and so they have had limited contact with peers. Initiatives like Regeneration are really important to allow our patients the chance to engage once again and to reduce the isolation they have felt over the last year.”

Social prescribing enables health care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services to support their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The Thriving Communities Fund will support 37 projects across England and is being delivered in a unique partnership between the Arts Council England, Historic England and Natural England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, the Money & Pensions Service and NHS Charities Together.

It is part of the Thriving Community programme, which aims to strengthen the range of social prescribing activities offered locally, enhance collaboration and networking between local organisations and enable social prescribing link workers to connect people to more creative community activities and services. The programme is enabling providers working in arts, culture and heritage, nature, physical activity and offering life advice and support to develop initiatives, learn and network, and build the evidence base for social prescribing.

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