Crediton Wellbeing is a social prescribing project, which aims to help people who are lonely or isolated to improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them to community services and activities. Social prescribing is not a new idea, but it is increasingly being seen as a way of helping people lead healthier lives, while reducing pressure on our overstretched health services.
Crediton Wellbeing is a pilot scheme, which runs from April 2019 to April 2020, to test whether social prescribing can improve people’s lives in our town. It was initiated by the Town Team and is led by Involve, Mid Devon’s volunteer support service, with funding from Devon County Council’s Better Care Fund. Age Concern, Crediton and Westbank, Exeter are both partners in the scheme.
The scheme has paid for two wellbeing coordinators, who take referrals from GPs or health professionals. The coordinator meets regularly with a client, finds out what matters to them, makes a plan of action and then helps them to find suitable activities or services. This could be a choir, an art class or a walking group. Whatever it is, the coordinator will help make sure the group is ready to welcome that person, facilitate the person joining and continue to support them until their wellbeing has improved.
There is good evidence that people involved in community activities are likely to feel better, spend less time alone and visit the doctor less. This is a great mix for a healthier, more active life.