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Nottingham and Nottinghamshire's first Social Prescribing Conference

Nottingham & Notts first Social Prescribing Conference

On Thursday 29 June (2023), we opened the doors at Nottinghamshire County Football Ground for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire's first Social Prescribing Conference.

Organised in partnership with Ruthe Sawyer, Project Manager for Social Prescribing and Community Development at NCVS, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire’s Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Nottingham City General Practice Alliance (NCGPA); The event brought over 180 partners together from across the health sector, local government and the voluntary and community sector.

Attendees were warmly welcomed to the event by newly appointed Sheriff of Nottingham Shuguftah Quddoos. The theme of the day was partnership and connection, and the focus was on building and strengthening cross-sector relationships, in order to better support the health and wellbeing of local communities. 

The event provided a rare but important opportunity for the City and County's Social Prescribing Link Workers to come together and share their experiences, as well as make new connections and learn from each other. Twenty voluntary and community organisations were also invited to attend, as part of a marketplace initiative; allowing Link Workers to connect and collaborate directly with the groups and charities responsible for delivering social prescribing activities out in the community. Representatives of the marketplace commented that the event was one of the most fruitful they had attended, in terms of building new partnerships and connecting with other like-minded organisations.

Attendees at the conference also had the opportunity to experience one of five knowledge-sharing workshops, four of which were facilitated by experts within the voluntary sector:

  • Rueben Williams, from Base 51, spoke to delegates about best practice in social prescribing for young people; discussing the benefits and advantages of youth-focused social prescribing and comparing the outcomes to all-age social prescribing models’. Reuben also shared practical tools around capturing data on social prescribing with young people and showcased the charity's flagship assessment tool, called HEADS. Base 51 is wishing to lead the way on best practice in regard to young people’s social prescribing in the Midlands, and would love to hear from anybody wanting more details about how social prescribing can have a positive impact on their local youth offer, please email Base 51's CEO Jo Jepson at j.jepson@base51.org.uk
  • Laura Armitage and Kate Lisle, members of the team behind GreenSpace (Nottingham's two-year Green Social Prescribing pilot project), led attendees on a 'Walk-Shop' around local green and blue spaces, to discuss the barriers and enablers of Green Social Prescribing.
  •  The topic of Volunteering and Befriending 'On Prescription' was explored with discussions led by Ruthe Sawyer and Sarah Greaves from NCVS. Sarah, who is the Heritage Buddies Coordinator at NCVS, also shared information about the newly launched Heritage Buddies partnership project with Historic England. The workshop offered a great opportunity for volunteer involving organisations to talk directly with social prescribers. Some of the Social Prescribing Link Workers had a good knowledge of the potential benefits of volunteering for their patients, while others hadn't considered it.
  • The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) held a practical workshop on accessibility and how problems with eyesight can act as a barrier to people getting support or engaging in activity. The workshop explored the impact of sight loss, and discussions were had on how to encourage people with sight loss to take part in community and health-based activities.
  • Professor Eiman Kanjo, a world leading expert in technological uses in healthcare, explored ways in which upcoming artificial intelligence developments can support the work of social prescribers.

The day finished with a message from the National Academy for Social Prescribing and a round-table activity about developing a road map for future partnership work and collaboration.

A huge thank you to everyone that attended, exhibited and made it such an incredible day! A report on the themes, findings and next steps drawn from the day will be published soon.

For further information about social prescribing and the links with health and community development, please email Ruthe Sawyer: ruthes@nottinghamcvs.co.uk


GreenSpace (green social prescribing)
Date Posted: 
Monday, 10 July, 2023

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