Connect to Support

Information and advice directory of local services for adults with care and support needs.

Connect to Support Hampshire Search for Support

Play the Gosport lottery or register as a good cause to raise funds

Gosport Community Lottery

Supporting voluntary and community organisations

Connect to Hampshire CVS Network

Social Prescribing

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 will be 1000+ trained Link Workers by 2020/21
  • 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 including Surgery Signposting and our Services for Older People, delivered as part of the Close Encounters project.

Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Network

Co-ordinated by Gosport Voluntary Action and Community First, 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 Clinical Commissioning Groups and has 200 members who deliver, commission, or provide services for or support social prescribing projects countywide.

To register or for more information contact Lin Dudman:-


Latest News and Outcomes

• 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

Previous News and Outcomes

• 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


Keep notified of what’s going on

Register as a volunteer Register as an organisation