This roundtable took place January 11th 2022 virtually. The aim of this table was to understand what is required to build and develop strong relationships and networks to support the delivery of Social Prescribing activities, accessibility and effectiveness of Social Prescribing for our communities.
Part 1 included details on why we are having these conversations, who was in attendance as well as highlights from our first roundtable ‘The Language and business of Social Prescribing’ click here to read;
In Part 2, we discussed resourcing Social Prescribing activities, this included discussing financial support, support with capacity building and developing an infrastructure for growth. Roundtable 2: ‘Resourcing and Capacity building for Social Prescribing activities’ click here to read.
Soon into this third discussion, it became clear that the answer to our main questions for the table was being demonstrated by the attendees who were able to join the table and ask questions about Social Prescribing and receive peer-to-peer support. Hearing and sharing stories of how they came to learn more about Social Prescribing, what had worked for their organisations when it came to establishing a voice in the sector and expressing views on what their concerns were. It is clear that we need more opportunities to come together and to share, in safe spaces, with people who may share similar lived experiences.
During the roundtable one organisation shared how they tried to stay in touch with public health partners so they can develop ideas together.
They were also keen to build relationships and potential partnerships with other organisations that could support the activity that they are providing, for example, if they had a Food growing organisation, they may actively build relationships with other growers and other nature activity providers so collaboratively they can reach and support the beneficiaries.
One attendee shared how being a Social Prescriber allowed them more of a seat at the table and shared that ‘it’s really hard to put forward ideas when you’re not at the table.
Other attendees felt that some of the challenges felt by grassroots organisations could be solved if there was more initiatives led by the community, if people from similar backgrounds to the problems that were trying to be solved were able to contribute ideas to the solutions.
Generally, outside of being connected to their local CVS, one attendee being familiar with Thriving Communities and some now being connected with LondonPlus, they were not aware of other Social Prescribing networking groups.
There was a mixture of responses, generally, Social Prescribing was a term that many in this roundtable were still unsure of. Outside of connecting with the LondonPlus network, some attendees said they’d reach out to their existing networks to see if anyone could assist them with their query.
Others said they’d search social media (Twitter being the preferred search tool) and talk to their Local Council and local CVS. It was suggested that there needs to be more safe places for Black and Minoritised groups to come together to discuss Social Prescribing as without these discussions they would either have not heard of Social Prescribing, not know who they could go to for support and not understand that the work they are providing could be seen as a non-medical intervention (a Social Prescribing activity/service).
For more information and support, please see links below;
London Plus - To join the London Plus Social Prescribing network, to access case studies and resources please go to https://londonplus.org
SP Pathways: https://londonplus.org/london-social-prescribing-network/sp-pathways-presentation-2-2
BAYO - A space to find collectives, organisations and services from across the UK – run by and for the Black community – to support mental health and wellbeing. https://bayo.ubele.org
Written by Tracy Durrant - Project Manager