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Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing News & Opportunities

£3.6 million social prescribing funding for mental health support

More than £3.6 million of government funding awarded to the National Academy of Social Prescribing to support wellbeing, including impacts of loneliness. For full details on eligibility criteria and for guidance on how to apply, please read on.

What is Social Prescribing?

“Social prescribing involves helping patients to improve their health, well-being and social welfare by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity.” NHS England

More than 1 in 4 patients see their doctor for purely social problems and welfare advice.

A Social Prescribing Extract from the NHS Long Term Plan

  • Within 5 years 2.5m more people will benefit from Social Prescribing
  • Range of support will diversify
  • Link Workers within Primary Care Networks will develop tailored plans and link their clients to local clubs & societies
  • There are currently some 1000+ trained Link Workers
  • Aim is for over 900,000 referrals to Social Prescribing schemes

Download the Social Prescribing and Community-Based Support Summary Guide here.

Our Services

Gosport Voluntary Action delivers a number of life-changing Social Prescribing Projects and our Services for Older People, delivered as part of the Close Encounters project.

National Academy For Social Prescribing (NASP)

Most recent webinar: Tuesday, 22nd August 2023: ‘Improving Access to Social Prescribing through Care Navigation and Online Consultation’

Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network

Coordinated by Community First and supported by Gosport Voluntary Action, the Hampshire and IoW Social Prescribing Network was established in 2017. There are now 4 free Webinars or meetings per year countywide, as well as interim Social Prescribing updates and newsletters. The Network is funded by Hampshire’s Integrated Care System and has 300 members who deliver, commission, or provide services for or support social prescribing projects countywide.

To register or for more information, please contact Jane Bray,  HSPN Administrator, on:

Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network: A Case Study

In partnership with Anne-Marie Morrison (Health & Wellbeing Manager, NAVCA), Angela Gill, Community First, has produced a thought-provoking Case Study, illustrating the Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s cross-sector system wide approaches to providing social prescribing at place, which can be downloaded here. It also also accessible, alongside other Social Prescribing case studies, on the NAVCA website.

Forthcoming Hants & IoW SP Network Face to Face Networking Event: Thursday, 2nd November 2023 – 9.30am-1pm at the Vineyard Church, Unit A, Bar End Rd., Winchester, SO23 9NR   

Postponed to March 2024

Following on from the Met Office’s Yellow Weather Warnings for parts of the UK between Wed-Fri this week, our colleagues from Hampshire County Council’s Emergency Planning and the Integrated Care Board have recommended that there is ‘Essential Travel Only’ on Thursday. This means that with regret, we have taken the difficult but important decision to put the safety of attendees travelling to Thursday’s HSPN Networking and Showcase event first. We are therefore postponing Thursday’s event and will schedule to March 2024 – it will become part of a National Social Prescribing Week Celebration Event instead.  

Most recent webinar: Wednesday, 27th September 2023: ‘Social Prescribing & The Prevention Agenda’

On Wednesday 27 September 2023 c72 people attended the Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar ‘Social Prescribing & The Prevention Agenda’.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, Tim Houghton, Community First’s Chief Executive, started by providing a community & voluntary sector update including  information relating to mental health and Adults’ Health & Care, details of an Independent Living Conference, Safeguarding training, and the NHS Support Scheme. Tim concluded by reviewing some current funding opportunities.

Kirsty Robertson, Head of Operations, Motiv8 began by describing Moti8’s vision, mission, and values. She explained the geographical areas covered and the organisational structure. Kirsty provided examples of why children and young people need support, what is provided by Motiv8 and their preventative approach. The presentation also highlighted Motiv8’s mentoring support, 5 Steps to Wellbeing, their target group work and community provision, concluding with their 3 strategic aims.

Lucy Coates, Community Spirit Coordinator, Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) explained what GVA’s Community Spirit is, how it is accessible and inclusive. Lucy went on to describe who Community Spirit’s members are and the wide range of voluntary community activities and projects they currently undertake. Finally, the preventative aspects of Community Spirit were demonstrated, particularly around mental health prevention – this was illustrated via an inspirational short video interview with ‘Anthony’ a Community Spirit member. (NB the short video can’t be viewed via the Webinar recording, but it can be viewed vie the Webinar PP pdf.

Next, Jo Potz-Rayner, Health & Wellbeing Coach, Rural West Primary Care Network (PCN) described what health coaching is and how it improves a patient’s overall health and wellbeing – physical, mental and social wellbeing. It is a person-centred approach in a safe confidential space. It enables people with long-term health conditions to decide what changes they would like to make, by sharing ideas, information & increasing self-awareness, and self-management. This prevents their health/MH deteriorating, improving quality of life and also, reduces costs &/or time pressures re the health service.

Finally, Emily Khural, Health Officer, Energise Me, introduced the new ‘national revolution’ entitled ‘Live Longer Better’. Emily described why it is so important to keep moving in later life? The fact that loved ones and carers can sometimes be ‘risk averse’ and ‘care too much’ was highlighted as being available via a YouTube video. Emily then shared some insights around the importance of physical activity and taboos around key conditions often associated with older people. The presentation concluded with examples of how to support others to live longer better, including the new Live Longer Better website .

To register or for more information, please contact Jane Bray,  HSPN Administrator, on:

The next Social Prescribing Network Event will take place in March 2024 .. details to follow ..

  • March 2024

For past webinars, click on the ‘Previous News and Outcomes‘ section below.

Previous News and Outcomes

Recent Webinars

On Wednesday 14 June 2023 c78 people attended the Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar ‘The Changing Landscape and Role of Social Prescribing’.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, Tim Houghton, Community First’s CEO, started by highlighting the role and value of engaging with the local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) countywide to access a range of local organisations and the recruitment of volunteers as there are many volunteers out there. He went on to highlight that it was ‘Loneliness Awareness Week’ – stating that there’s a high proportion of younger people including young parents who are socially isolated, there are great projects out there. Community Friends is one project that Community First are delivering related to social activities/engagement in the New Forest. Tim concluded by providing information on the current range of funding opportunities.

Jessica Berry, Personalised Care Programme Lead, Hampshire & IoW Integrated Care Board began by providing an interim Integrated Care Strategy update – explaining about the 5 Priorities and key areas of focus. Jessica went on to discuss ‘Social Connectedness’ with a ‘call to action’ concluding with some Social Prescribing updates and training opportunities.

Esther Watts, SE Lead for Thriving Communities, National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) described NASP’s role and 5 Ambitions. Esther then explained about the Thriving Communities Programme and concluded by demonstrating the need and value of the regional Social Prescribing Mapping project – encouraging all Social Prescribers to engage and add their details.

Finally, Jane Majidzadeh, Wellbeing Team Manager, Meon Health Practice, introduced herself and the team she manages. Jane highlighted some of the barriers the team have faced, going on to explain the importance of collaboration to developing their outreach and services. The value of working with volunteers was illustrated alongside a range of the activities that have been developed. The presentation concluded by Jane sharing some positive feedback from those who have taken part in the drop-ins and other activities.

An engaged audience added observations &/or questions via ‘Chat’.

On Wednesday, 1 March 2023 some 60 people attended the latest Hants & Isle of Wight Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar, titled ‘Social Prescribing – a Celebration and Call to Action’.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, Julie Caldwell (Area Manager South, Hampshire Library Service) started by giving an overview of the Home Library Service – which enables adults and those with learning disabilities, who struggle to get out and have no family, to receive books or other media items. It can also offer a ‘reading friends’ telephone befriending service. It is a volunteer delivered service – where volunteers are matched to the people they support through this scheme. The service is currently looking for more volunteers countywide. (A 3-minute Home Library Service video was then played.)

Angela Gill briefly highlighted National Social Prescribing Day, which is on Thursday, 9th  March. There are celebratory activities taking place nationally that week, including the National Social Prescribing supporting resources and an event on at the Southbank in London that can be joined virtually that day.

Kate Drake (Health & Wellbeing Manager, South Downs National Park) and Mandie Molyneux (Director/Project ManagerArtscape) described the (evaluated) Timescape Project that took place between 2020-21. It was designed for those experiencing post-Covid anxiety. Groups of c25 people were enabled to connect to their landscape and cultural heritage. They learnt about traditional artisan techniques – and they used this knowledge to ‘create and make’. Similar projects are currently being delivered. (A 4-minute Timescape video was then played.)

Next, Ali Gill (Executive Director, Fluid Motion) explained that Fluid Motion are an arts organisation dedicated to improving and supporting young people and adults with their Mental Health through creative activity. The Gathering Project focusses upon seven deprived communities countywide. It was originally developed as a response to Covid-19-related anxiety; it has since moved into Cost of Living Crisis support. The 8-week courses offer practical support to enable participants to manage their mental health via discussions, drama, role-play, team games, positive ideas and coping strategies. It improves resilience, confidence, isolation, and loneliness. (A 5-minute ‘the Gathering’ video was then played.)

The inspiring HSPN Webinar finished with ‘Breakout Rooms’, where two discussions took place in smaller groups. The first discussions highlighted some good Social Prescribing/Wellbeing examples or partnerships to celebrate; the second, identified members’ top priorities/needs & their key ‘Calls to Action’.   A summary of these were then added to Chat for review and sharing with members later.

Recent Events

  • Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Conference: Why Social Prescribing Works ? (23rd November 2022, Winchester Vineyard Church)
  • Intro (short GVA news item)
  • For full details from the conference, including links to PPT presentations, photos and video footage, please visit the Community First website.

Pre-Conference Mindfulness
The inaugural Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Conference started with Charlotte O’Hare’s (Let it Go Meditation Teacher) pre-conference Mindfulness workshop – exploring aspects of what Meditation and Mindfulness is, the Neuro endocrine system and how the mind can heal the body.

Meditation Presentation

Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speaker
Siân Brand (Co-Chair, National Social Prescribing Network and Keynote Speaker) via a pre-recorded presentation, described her journey into Social Prescribing, the National Social Prescribing Network, NHS interest, Personalised Care, the role of Primary Care Networks & Link Workers. She highlighted tackling health inequalities and social issues, involving local stakeholders and how trust and collaborative working is needed to secure longer term integrated solutions. Siân recognised the challenges that the VCSE sector face, briefly explaining about the new Integrated Care Systems, the need for sustainable funding, local evidence of success and community involvement.

Siân Brand’s Video

Tim Houghton (CE, Community First) responded by explaining how together the Community & Voluntary Sector better, supporting thriving and successful organisations that deliver quality services, helping people to be happier and healthier. Tim described how pressures on the NHS are at an all-time high – which needs to be tackled head on. As the VCSE recovers post-Covid, there is a time to refresh and reboot and they will need to do more going forward. He demonstrated how Social Prescribing is becoming more widely known about because it really does work. The opportunity to come together in such large numbers are few and far between so make the most. Tim explained that the conference was about unlocking that potential; the art of the im/possible by harnessing the passion and enthusiasm generating and sharing ideas, constantly innovating.

Conference Presentation

Anne-Marie Morrison (Health and Wellbeing Manager, NAVCA) introduced the organisation, the VCSE infrastructure, described how a collaborative partnership project can increase the impact of Social Prescribing on patient outcomes. Anne-Marie highlighted some key delivery models, how the VCSE quality assures Social Prescribing and also, accesses information about community assets.

Anne-Marie Morrison’s Presentation

Lena Samuels (Chair, Integrated Care Board Hampshire & IoW) explained the purpose of an Integrated Care System, shared the vision and structure, highlighted Hampshire’s population profile, feedback from system partners, the Integrated Care Board membership and Strategic Plan. Lena finished with a Case Study from No Limits, followed by a short Q&A.

Lena Samuels’ Presentation

Joshua Ryan (Head of Thriving Communities, NASP) via a pre-recorded presentation, described the Thriving Communities Network and Fund. He then showed how ‘Learning Together’ is co-produced and what the Ideas Hubs and Webinars deliver. Joshua covered the impact of numbers and evidence in a report that was published in October 2022 evaluating the Thriving Communities Fund.

Josh Ryan’s Video

Thriving Communities Evaluation Report

Workshop 1 – Tackling Health Inequalities
Fran White, Strategic Lead for Partnerships, Strategy and Transformation Team, Hampshire & IoW Integrated Care Board and Esther Watts, SE Regional Lead for Social Prescribing.

Tackling Health Inequalities Workshop

Tackling Health Inequalities Workshop (Additional)

Workshop 2 – Social Prescribing Health & Wellbeing – Impact and Evaluation
Dr Andrew Sibley and Dr Ruth Barker, Wessex Academic Health Science Network.

Impact Evalution Presentation

Menti Outcomes

Workshop 3 – Sources of Social Prescribing and Health & Wellbeing Funding
Rob Stead, Commissioning Manager, Hampshire County Council, Tim Houghton, CE Community First, Emma Dovener, Programme Manager, Children & Young People, Energise Me.

Funding Workshop

Emma Dovener’s Presentation

Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Member Responses
NHSE Social Prescriber – Stacie Gofton, Social Prescribing Link Worker, Havant & Waterlooville Primary Care Network (included a short video). Stacie introduced the Park Community School video with a brief description of how the project started, who was involved, and what the impact has been for those involved.

Stacie Gofton’s Presentation

Home and Well – Rob Thompson, Advice Services Manager, Citizens Advice Portsmouth (included a short video). Rob began by introducing Citizens Advice and its Home and Well wrap-around project that supports vulnerable people in fuel, food and other social needs countywide.

Rob Thompson’s Presentation

Home And Well Monthly Report – October

Regeneration – Energise Me – Helen Fisher, Head of Health and Strategy introduced Regeneration and University Hospital Southampton – Sarah Shameti, Youth Service Lead – (included a pre-recorded testimonial) illustrated the impact of living with a long-term health condition, the PEEER Youth Service and the steps involved with ensuring a positive impact for the Regeneration Project.

Regeneration – The New Generation of Social Prescribing

Additional information shared:

Exploring Opportunities to improve VCSE Involvement in Local Social Prescribing

IRISS Evaluating Social Prescribing

More photos and quotes from the day

[Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Conference materials end]

Recent Webinars

  • Introduction to the Hants & Iow Social Prescribing: The Role of Social Prescribing and the VCFSE Sector Post-Covid – Impact, Challenges and Opportunities Webinar, Weds, 15th June 2022

On Wednesday, 15th June 2022, some 60 people attended the latest Hants & Isle of Wight Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar, titled ‘The Role of Social Prescribing and the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Sector Post-COVID – Impact, Challenges and Opportunities’.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, Tim Houghton (CEO, Community First), started by highlighting the pressures and challenges facing health and social care, and the need to streamline access to care and advice, as well as a need for proactive and personalised care, in addition to a strength-based approach. Tim also talked about the new Integrated Care System (ICS) led locally to tackle health inequalities, and shared updates about funding, digital services and information about how the Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) can help.

Sara Nicholls (Community Support Manager, Brendoncare Clubs and Community), described their Care Home and Community Services, including the Brendoncare Membership Scheme. The current challenges highlighted included: Finances, Transport, Volunteers and Staff. Sara explained the positive impact Brendoncare has on the people they support via a Case Study. Finally, Sara outlined how Brendoncare works together and has a simple referral system, and highlighted how they provide feedback, too.

Hannah Griffiths (Community Engagement Manager, Independent Arts) described their pre-Covid service and the service they provided during the Covid pandemic e.g. their online singing sessions. Independent Arts have moved into a new, larger front-facing venue (creative hub) post-Covid, due to their new needs. Facing the future involves reconnecting and adapting and identifying new opportunities/groups. Funding is always a challenge post-Covid. The organisation has also reconnected with the Social Prescribers.

Next, Debbie Hayter (Service Manager, British Red Cross) described the impact of Covid, such as a lack of confidence and financial challenges. For example, older people are now making choices about wellbeing versus paying bills, and/or are giving up social group activities, finding themselves facing poverty and poor living conditions; cancelling essential cleaning; having £7 to last until the end of the month or are unable to afford a carpet after a move. Debbie also talked about; access to hardship grants and the need for volunteers. Needs and the world has changed, and the next six months will be unpredictable.

Finally, Marie Adams (Social Prescriber, Westlands Surgery Portchester), described the impact of Covid on the role of a Social Prescriber, such as additional welfare calls, shopping & prescription support, and the newly added ‘holding role’ of Social Prescribers, whilst many vulnerable people awaited their Mental Health support. As services re-opened, numbers were restricted and new funding was often not there, or does not include running costs. Many patients were too scared to travel and/or re-engage post-Covid, and others have mobility/health issues. The role of a Social Prescriber has evolved differently than was initially set-up. Some services and groups can no longer cope with the more complex patients. Referrals to Citizens Advice has been essential in regards to income maximisation and/or debt, and foodbank and Community Pantry referrals are also increasing.

An interested audience added observations/questions via the ‘Chat’ function after each presentation.

The next Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Conference will be on Wednesday, 14th September 2022, from 9.00am to 2.00pm at Hope Church Winchester, The Middlebrook Centre, Middlebrook St, Winchester, SO23 8DQ). Please contact to register if you are not an HSPN member and would like to attend and/or be kept up-to-date.

  • Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Social Prescribing Celebration Event (Weds 2nd March 2022)

On Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, some 40 people attended the latest Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Social Prescribing Celebration Event. The Webinar presenters came from Community FirstNHS HampshireSouthampton, & IoW CCGSovereign Health PartnershipCitizens Advice Portsmouth and Gosport Voluntary Action.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, Angela Gill, Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Facilitator, reflected upon how the network started and has developed over the past 5 years. Tim HoughtonCommunity First’s CEO, started by highlighting how closely HCC and CCG colleagues have been involved with HSPN’s development. He went on to describe the role of the CVS countywide in supporting Social Prescribing as a bridge – connecting Link Workers and Health Professionals to the CVS, coordinating local activity to maximise capacity to meet local need, while minimising duplication. Also, by influencing strategic discussions, connecting groups, supporting frontline organisationspiloting new initiatives and delivering Social Prescribing activities.

Annie Millard, Transformation Officer, working in SE Hampshire, NHS Hampshire, Southampton & IoW CCG described the CCG’s journey in piloting an NHS Social Prescribers’ Network – the vision in 2019, just as Covid struck. Annie explained the Network’s Goals and Challenges, highlighting the many local and wider successes, the contributory factors were the co-design and co-delivery of a well-received Social Prescribers’ Handbook as a key, collaborative outcome during the past year.

Julie Fisher, Social Prescriber, Sovereign Health Partnership described how she first became involved with Social Prescribing as a Health Connector (Southern Health’s Social Prescribers) Gosport West PCN and then in her current role. Julie explained it can be a lonely role, and talked about how important it is to link with the voluntary sector. She also contributed to the co-production of the Social Prescribing Handbook – feeling listened to and valued/appreciated. Julie benefitted from the added-value training currently coordinated by Lili Parsons. As part of the Network, Julie feels able to share and problem solve, as well as learn about other things that are going on, to network/form partnerships e.g. with Esther Watts (National Academy for Social Prescribing). Julie concluded that the world of Social Prescribing has changed/developed hugely over the past two years.

Attendees then went into ‘Breakout Rooms’ – involving brief introductions, followed by Social Prescribing-related discussions looking at the impact/difference organisations make, followed by feedback for the Network regarding what support is needed going forward. After each group reported back, their feedback was noted and will be reviewed by the HSPN Steering Group.

Next, Rob ThompsonGeneralist Advice Manager / Home and Well Lead Citizens Advice Portsmouth described two Case Studies, which illustrated the power of joined-up working/Social Prescribing, and the positive outcomes for these clients. The first client was referred (with their carer) from a Social Prescriber (the client had learning difficulties and had recently had a bereavement too). The need was around their welfare benefits – they were also advised re challenging PIP. The Home and Well Adviser helped them to go on to the Priority Services Register, checked that they were on the correct tariff, obtaining water and warm home discounts. They also made a referral into SGN for an Home Safety visit, e.g. for CO alarms. Carer support was also identified from Andover MindAnother client approached CA Portsmouth directly after having a stroke. There was engagement with Job Centre Plus, and they were briefed about their situation. To add value, and thanks to an onward referral to Social Prescribers, the client also now attends a bi-monthly Zoom meeting, a gym class for those recovering from a stroke and is being supported by Community Connectors.

Lucy Coates (Community Spirit – Supported Volunteering Coordinator at Gosport Voluntary Action), explained her role and the ‘Community Spirit’ group of some 19 adults, who are aged 25+, live in Gosport and are unable to take part in paid work. Most of the members have been referred by Social Prescribers. All have mental health or learning difficulties, live alone; many are socially isolated and digitally isolated – only two have Smart phones and/or Internet access. Most receive financial support. One person who attended GVA’s Preparing to Volunteer training course, was referred by his Southern Health Mental Health Worker. He was unable to speak initially, but slowly over time, he started to engage. This was following a redundancy from his full-time role, which had resulted in a catastrophic mental health breakdown requiring medicationThree months later, due to Community Spirit’s supportive environment, he is now supporting cognitively less able members, has joined a gardening group and has been referred to Citizens Advice Gosport’s Pathways employability support project. This particular member is making excellent progress, having progressed considerably from his initial reluctance to joining Community Spirit at the outset.

An engaged audience added their observations/questions via ‘Chat’ after each presentation. Previous Webinars are also available on GVA’s and Community First’s Social Prescribing webpages.

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar: ‘Levelling Up Through Employment’ (8th Dec 2021)

On Wednesday 8 December 2021 63 people attended the latest Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar entitled ‘Levelling up through Employment: the role of the VCSE in Partnership with the Health and Social Care Sectors’. The Webinar presenters came from Community First, Citizens Advice, NHS Hampshire, Southampton and IoW CCG, Hampshire County Council (HCC) Adult’s Health and Care, Gosport Central Primary Care Network and Gosport Borough Council/HCC.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, a new Social Prescribing Network webpage was revealed – which is part of Hampshire & IoW’s Personalised Care website. Then Tim Houghton, Community First’s CEO gave a Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) perspective on Levelling up. Tim cited how the CVS reduces the imbalance between people and places; illustrating the inequalities and challenges in our communities and the role for Levelling up re the VCSE locally.

Melissa Hatch, Business Development Strategic Lead, Health, Citizens Advice began by introducing the Citizens Advice Service – going on to describe the context and methodology of the national project and report. Melissa highlighted the project’s sponsors, core partners and researchers. She described the place-based comparative study between Liverpool, Knowsley, Walsall and Gosport and the selection criteria. Finally, the requirement of the findings and how primary and secondary source data had been obtained was described. Melissa handed over to Angela Gill, SMART Community Solutions, who had undertaken the Gosport primary research and drafted the local findings for the national report. Angela highlighted the 5 Stakeholder categories and the organisations that had participated. A summary of the issues identified and areas explored with 25 key Gosport stakeholders ensued – including Innovation and New Service Models, Barriers to Innovation and Infrastructure.

This was followed by a series of short but content rich reflections on the Key Findings and Recommendations from four of the interviewed contributors:- Fran White, ICP Programme Manager, NHS Hampshire, Southampton & IoW CCG, Nicky Ward, Strategic Relationship Manager, HCC Adults’ Health and Care, Dr Robin Harlow, Clinical Director for Primary Care Development, Gosport Central PCN and Cllr Zoe Huggins, Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Gosport Food Partnership, Gosport BC/HCC.

Watch The Webinar (Passcode: 6d&gyNyi)

Download The PowerPoint Presentation

Levelling Up Through Employment Report

An engaged audience asked questions and/or logged their observations via ‘Chat’. Previous Webinars are also available on the Social Prescribing webpages.

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar: ‘Supporting Communities Through Autumn’

On Wednesday 15 September 2021, 56 people attended the latest Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar, entitled ‘Supporting Communities Through Autumn’. The Webinar presenters came from Community First, the Money and Pensions Service, Citizens Advice Hampshire and the Environment Centre.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, the new Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network logo was revealed! Then Lee Appleyard, the Money and Pension’s Service Lead Regional Partnership Manager, explained ‘MoneyHelper’ in terms of money and pension guidance, debt and Mental Health support, the printed guides available alongside a range of key autumn milestones and events relevant to many of Hampshire’s more vulnerable community members.

Tim Houghton, Community First’s CEO highlighted the increased VCSE demand particularly around Mental Health and Wellbeing needs, rising poverty and unemployment and poorer physical health. Also discussed, was the move of many local groups to embrace digital technology, a reduction in volunteers – post COVID-19/vaccination volunteer support, the increased demand for collaborative working and the regional training & opportunities for developing this via the Thriving Communities Programme.

Janet Duggan, Citizens Advice Hampshire’s new Business Support Manager, began by sharing Citizens Advice’s Mission Statement and then explained who the Home and Well project partners are, what the project is and how it supports vulnerable patients to avoid hospital admittance or re-admittance. This included how NHS colleagues can refer via a secure, Direct Referral form, finishing with a few Home and Well impact statistics and a recommendation for attendees to visit the Home and Well webpage – to view one or two of the short but very powerful Case Study videos.

Finally, Ellie Jones, the Environment Centre’s Engagement Officer described the Environment Centre’s purpose, citing the Hitting the Cold Spots as one of the projects that supports people to keep warm. The types of households supported and the way the service is delivered were explained, alongside the range of advice and signposting available. Finally, the Environment Centre’s awareness training sessions were briefly explored including how these can be accessed.

Watch the webinar (Passcode: !h5frUb8)

Download the PowerPoint presentation

An engaged audience logged questions and/or their observations via ‘Chat’ after each presentation. Previous Webinars are also available below. The next Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar will be held on Wednesday 8 December 2021, 1-2pm. Please contact to register if you are not an HSPN member and would like to attend and/or be kept up-to-date.

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar: ‘Supporting Green Social Prescribing’

On Wednesday 16 June 2021, 83 people (a record!) attended the latest Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar, entitled ‘Supporting Green Social Prescribing’. The Webinar presenters came from One Community, Public Health England South East and Energise Me. Presenters shared their experience and expertise; attendees also watched an insightful short ‘Active Lives’ video produced by the University of Southampton and the Wessex Academic Health Science Network.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed, Jean Roberts-Jones, One Community’s Chief Executive introduced the Webinar with an explanation of the scope and important role Hampshire’s CVSs play in the Green Agenda – from Litter Picking to Outdoor Renewal Projects, Community Pantries to Repair Cafés and Healthy Walks, countywide.

A short video highlighted Active Lives, a University of Southampton and Wessex Academic Health Science Network healthy ageing research programme supporting those aged 65+.

Dr Lizzie Moore, Public Health Registrar, delivered an engaging presentation that provided a definition of green and natural spaces, the health and wellbeing benefits of the natural environment, health inequalities and nature-based interventions.

Finally, Victoria Health, Regional Physical Activity and Health Lead, described the benefits of being active, illustrated who are likely to be least active, and highlighted national and regional green social prescribing. Victoria presented an impactful Case Study and then explained how the PEDALL Project is helping increase 2, 3, or 4 wheel cycling in the New Forest National Park.

An engaged audience logged questions and observations via ‘Chat’ after each presentation. View the Webinar below:

Download the PowerPoint presentation

Previous Webinars are also available below.  The next Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Meeting will be held face to face on Wednesday 15 September 2021 from 12.30 (bring your own lunch) for a 1pm to 3pm meeting at Fareham Community Church. Please contact  to register if you are not an HSPN member and would like to attend and/or be kept up-to-date.


The HSPN is participating in the Arts 4 Dementia conference, Arts for Brain Health: Social Prescribing as Peri-Diagnostic Practice for Dementia, 20-21 May.  This conference brings together 90+ leading experts in the fields of arts, culture, health & well-being.

Download the PowerPoint presentation

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar: ‘COVID-19 – Inequalities in Housing and Poverty’

On Wednesday 3 March 2021 c72 people (the highest to date!) attended the latest Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s (HSPN) Webinar entitled ‘COVID-19 – Inequalities in Housing and Poverty’. The Webinar presenters came from Hampshire County Council, Hart District Council and the housing sector. Presenters shared their experience and expertise, including on the impact of COVID-19 for the Hampshire communities they support.

After new and existing HSPN members & guests were welcomed – Tim Houghton, Community First’s Chief Executive introduced the Webinar by explaining the impact of COVID-19 on Hampshire’s  communities – how the conditions around individual’s impact upon them in terms of risk and also the additional complex layer of ethnicity. Tim then explained how the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector is supporting those in need during the pandemic – using some countywide examples.

Rosie Fowler, Health and Wellbeing Project Officer, Hart District Council and Abbie Twaits, Senior Public Health Practitioner, HCC Public Health, Adults’ Health & Care highlighted the importance of housing as a social determinant of health. A range of impactful ‘Healthy Homes’ statistics and graphs were shared – illustrating the critical need for safe and stable homes. The presentation closed with a summary of training and signposting needs identified by a recent Workforce Development survey.

Next Ruth Goncalves, Housing Manager, Abri, began by defining the levels and causes of hoarding in Hampshire in terms of Compulsive/Generalist, Bibliomania and Animal hoarding. The characteristics of hoarding were explained, the correlation to fire safety, how the multi-agency response operates in terms of the hoarding journey and how Hampshire is responding to the increase in hoarding cases.

Finally, Angela Gill, Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network (HSPN) Facilitator, shared highlights from the recent HSPN members’ survey. This identified some immediate training needs, how members are currently accessing support, which Social Prescribing organisations they are interested in and what barriers they are encountering during COVID-19. A response will follow from the HSPN Steering Group.

An engaged audience logged questions and observations via ‘Chat’ after each presentation.

The full Webinar is available to watch online below (download Powerpoint presentation here, and agenda here):

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar: ‘Mental Health Support During COVID-19 and Beyond…’

On Tuesday 1 December 2020, c70 people (the highest yet!) attended the latest Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network’s Webinar entitled ‘Mental Health Support During COVID-19 and Beyond…’

The Webinar presenters came from a wide cross-section of Hampshire’s Community & Voluntary and Mental Health sectors – to share their experiences and expertise during COVID-19, to update attendees about their current services/challenges and to answer a range of engaging questions.

After new and existing members and guests were welcomed:

Tim Houghton, Community First’s Chief Executive introduced the Webinar by putting into context the community & voluntary sector support, new initiatives such as the High Intensity Users out of hours support and the challenges that the sector is currently facing. Tim then handed over to Helen Fisher, Strategic Lead for Physical Activity and Health, Energise Me – who highlighted the importance of keeping active for people’s physical and mental health & wellbeing. Helen went on to briefly described three existing and new Energise Me projects.

Elizabeth White Ripley, Head of Wellbeing, Solent Mind described the geographical structure of Solent Mind, going on to explain the 5 Steps to Wellbeing and how Solent Mind’s flexible recovery programme is helping people during the COVID-19 period.

Next Jonathan Foley and Amy Francis – Clinical Lead Service Managers for italk explained what italk does, going on to describe their core and longer term services, common mental health problems, the Stepped Care Model, what treatments are on offer and how they can be accessed, the relationship between physical and mental health, the type of interventions available and the impact on people in need where they are unable to access the therapy they need, italk’s employment advisors and the range of partnerships italk are engaged with.

Jason Hope, Programme Management Lead – Hants & IoW Sustainable Transformation Partnership’s No Wrong Door – Community Mental Health Transformation, summarised what the transformation programme aims to achieve, the national model, how the programme will transform people’s experience in three ways, the programme phases and the structure of the mental health programme board.

Last but definitely not least was a short, informative presentation by Mike Newman, Senior Public Health Practitioner, HCC Adults Health & Care, who showed extracts from a new range of Mental Health and Wellbeing Guides offering practical support for adults – covering Five Ways to Wellbeing, Every Mind Matters, One You and Apps. Mike also illustrated the Additional Support information and where that can be accessed from eg GP, local talking therapy, wellbeing centres, how to access urgent help, top tips and mental health and wellbeing training.

An engaged audience logged questions and observations after each presentation.

The full Webinar is available to watch online below (download Powerpoint presentation here, and agenda here):

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar
‘Tackling Social Isolation’
Tuesday 8 September 2020

On 8 September 2020 the Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network delivered their 3rd topical Webinar entitled ‘Tackling Social Isolation’. It generated the most interest of any HSPN Webinar or Meeting since the network began – with an amazing 64 attendees!

A range of engaging presenters shared their experience and learning around ‘Tackling Social Isolation’ – which has become ever more important during COVID-19.

Community First’s Tim Houghton (Chief Executive) started by highlighting the Community & Voluntary Sector’s Experience of Social Isolation during COVID-19. Tim explained that social isolation doesn’t just affect older people, whilst illustrating the impact of isolation on both mental and physical health.

Age UK Portsmouth’s Close Encounters Project Manager Alex Massey introduced the Close Encounters Project – explaining how partnership working (including with Gosport Voluntary Action) is practically enhancing the quality of life for in a number of innovative ways (particularly during COVID-19) for isolated older people across greater Portsmouth and Gosport.

HCC Adults’ Health and Care’s Strategic Development Manager for Demand Management and Prevention Peter Stokes spoke about increasing social connectivity in Hampshire, detailing a SWOT analysis of what is working well, potential risks, what’s been difficult and emerging options to explore.

Last and definitely not least, Kellie Payne, Research & Policy Manager from the Campaign to End Loneliness, introduced the audience to the findings from a ground-breaking Research Report entitled ‘The Psychology of Loneliness’ – why it matters and what we can do. Kellie summarised the mental effects of loneliness and potential approaches to address it – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness and Positive Psychology. A fascinating practical exploration of what can be done ensued, concluding with achievable recommendations and a practical call to action.

An engaged audience logged questions and observations after each presentation. Virtual networking and information & the sharing of contact details were evidenced via the Webinar’s ‘Chat’ facility too!

The full Webinar is available to watch online below (download Powerpoint presentation here, and agenda here):


Psychology of Loneliness Report

Age UK Portsmouth Case Study

The next HSPN Webinar will focus upon Mental Health and takes place on Tuesday 1 December 2020 from 1-2pm (plus networking). Please contact  to register, or if you would like to join the Network.

• Social Prescribing Network Newsletter, August 2020

Download the newsletter here

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar
‘Understanding Hampshire’s Changing Health Structures’
Thursday 16 July 2020

On 16 July, the Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network delivered their 2nd topical webinar. Strategic colleagues from the Hants & IoW Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, HCC’s Public Health and Community First updated the 53 live attendees, often mentioning the importance of taking a local approach to local services. The panel then responded to an interesting range of questions.

Tim Houghton, Chief Executive, Community First, explained how Community First particularly in respect of health and wellbeing/COVID-19 are working in partnership with the Clinical Commissioning Group, Hampshire County Council, District Councils and a range of Voluntary Sector Partners, to support the most vulnerable groups during this period. He thanked all those supporting vulnerable communities, describing how COVID-19 exposed fragile social networks. New solutions will need to be devised by working together including supporting those with mental health needs. Tim asked how we could build resilience as we move forward, whilst challenging & changing what we currently do.

Tim Cooling, Hampshire & IoW Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, briefly discussed the NHS Long Term Plan and Integrated Care Systems will focus upon public health across Hampshire and the IoW and Hampshire’s 42 Primary Care Networks by 2021. Working with Local Authorities, the Voluntary Sector and Integrated Community Partnerships will work more efficiently, at scale but also locally where appropriate. This will hopefully enable the Voluntary Sector to become more sustainable.

Ros Hartley, Executive Director, Strategy and Transformation, Hampshire & IoW Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, explained how some plans had to change/fast track to work differently as a result of COVID-19. She explored what should be kept from COVID and what needs to stop going forward and the importance of protecting people out of hospital in a different way. How do decisions get made as close to people & patients as possible? A vulnerable group of people have been identified now – outcomes need to be consistent. Seacole services is one example of best practice that was discussed, alongside the value of getting better community services locally in partnership. Now is a real opportunity to do things better and/or differently.

Jenny Erwin, West Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, stated that COVID is a major NHS level 4 incident; it is also about community recovery and the trauma they have experienced (faith groups, pockets of deprivation, minority communities, etc.). It is necessary to work with whole communities to provide mental health support, either direct or in partnership, addressing social anxiety/social isolation with local communities. People are experiencing secondary health mental health services or not coming forward to access them; services need to meet latent demand some digital interventions but face-to-face is often the preferred approach. COVID survivors require ongoing support (the trauma of being in hospital or on a ventilation during this period). Support is also required for frontline workers, retrained fire officers who drove ambulances, and the bereaved who were unable to see their family before they died or have a proper funeral. Children and young people can face long waiting lists; many have been out of school for some time with some safeguarding issues.

Simon Bryant, Director of Public Health, Hampshire County Council, described the current pandemic that has affected people and services. He described the local outbreak control plan of how the pandemic is managed locally to prevent infection and reduce outbreaks, eg. in local pubs. It focuses upon care homes, schools, high risk settings or communities, increased likelihood, eg. meat packing plants, custodial venues, etc. Also testing and contact tracing locally and the data underpinning this, vulnerable/shielding people, Health Protection Board, etc. He asked that we don’t forget social distancing and handwashing.

References were made to the previous Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar, which is available below (in ‘Previous News and Outcomes’). A range of interesting live questions and responses from members of the panel then ensued.

The full webinar is available to watch online below (download Powerpoint presentation here, and attendance list here):

If you would like to register for the next Hants & IoW Webinar on Tuesday 8 September, 1-2pm (plus networking), which will focus on social isolation, or would like more information, please email Lin Dudman on

• Social Prescribing Network Newsletter, June 2020

Download the newsletter here

• Hampshire & IoW Social Prescribing Network Webinar
‘How Social Prescribing & Local Services are Adapting to COVID-19?’
Tuesday 19 May 2020

The Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network held its first ever Webinar on Tuesday 19 May 2020. The event was attended by 43 delegates (attendance list). There was a regional Social Prescribing update from GVA & Community First. There were also a series of short presentations from:

  • Hampshire County Council
  • Citizens Advice Hampshire
  • Age Concern Hampshire
  • British Red Cross
  • Hants & IOW Partnership of CCG
  • Three local Social Prescribers/Health Coaches, giving updates on how their roles have changed during the COVID-19 period

The webinar is available to watch online here:

Additional Resources:

Paul Bright, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice Hampshire outlines how NHS staff in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight can refer patients to the Home and Well NHS Direct Referral Service.

Home and Well advisor Lorraine explains how she helps people solve problems.


Resources & Links

Age Concern Gosport

NHS England Social Prescribing

The Social Prescribing Network, including news and events


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