24 Aug 2023
Caroline Lindsay: The Benefits of Social Prescribing
“I believe connecting into the community improves health and wellbeing and reduces the feeling of isolation”
In this blog, Caroline Lindsay from the Wellbeing Matters Programme tells us more about her role as a Community Connector and the benefits of Social Prescribing.
I am a Community Connector (also known as link worker/social prescriber) for Wellbeing Matters in Southeast Salford PCN; I have been in the role since August 2021.
Previously I was working within community centres, which gave me a great insight into the positive health and wellbeing benefits of attending a local community group or activity.
For example, one of the community centres ran a weekly lunch club for those over 60 years old. This meal out once a week with friends and bingo was, for some, the only time of the week they got out and they loved it! I believe connecting with the community improves health and wellbeing and reduces feelings of isolation.
Social prescribing is a non-medicalised approach, not a service.
I am employed by what’s known as an anchor organisation within the VCSE sector and feel incredibly lucky to be situated within this type of community setting.
The community centre I work in is a fantastic location to meet individuals and share what’s happening within the centre including exercise sessions, social groups, food clubs, and advice and information sessions.
I am aware of the barriers that local people face with regards to health and wellbeing which can stop them from leading happy and fulfilled lives.
There are areas of Salford where individuals may lack motivation, have low self-esteem, and feel they don’t have the skills or training to contribute meaningfully to their community. There are also individuals who may not have the time or resources to exercise or meet socially leading to a feeling of isolation.
I have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the neighbourhood in relation to services, groups, and activities. Each of these help to support people in improving wellbeing and can provide space for an individual to discuss what matters to them, help them to feel more connected to their community, help to increase confidence and feel less socially isolated, by linking them into local groups and services.
The goal of this is for an individual to be better equipped to manage their own health and wellbeing. Some of the benefits of this can be found below: