Fund to improve community support for patients

A new ‘social prescribing’ fund has been launched to help doctors refer patients for support in the community in order to improve their wellbeing.

The £1.4m Thriving Communities Fund has been launched by the National Academy for Social Prescribing and Arts Council England.

The fund will help voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations to expand and improve the range and quality of social prescribing activities available to local communities.

The Arts Council is administering the fund, with guidance on how to apply published on its website today (November 10).

Groups can apply for grants between £25-50,000 for activity that works across arts and culture, sport and physical activity, health and care agencies, financial wellbeing, food and practical support and nature and the environment.

The grants can be used to support partnership development, planning, and the delivery of public-facing community activities for communities impacted by Covid-19.

‘Last year, we set out to champion social prescribing and the work of local communities in connecting people for wellbeing,’ said the chief executive of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, James Sanderson.

‘The Thriving Communities programme and fund seeks to bring this to life, by supporting the vital work of voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups supporting communities most impacted by Covid-19 in England, working alongside social prescribing link workers.

‘These grants will encourage partnerships led by voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups and organisations to increase social prescribing activities that benefit their communities, particularly across arts, nature, physical activity, financial wellbeing, health and care, and support for people impacted by Covid-19.

‘In so doing, they will help community groups and others unleash the power of social prescribing together.’

The chief executive of Arts Council England, Darren Henley, added: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has shown even more clearly how important things like creativity, nature and exercise are for both individual and wellbeing; millions of people across the country have found solace, focus and connection through the arts and culture.

‘Arts Council England is proud to be a partner to the Thriving Communities programme, and doubly so to be distributing the new £1.4m Thriving Communities Fund.

‘Made possible with money from the academy, as well as our own Arts Council resources thanks to National Lottery players, the fund will bring together local partnerships across culture, sport, nature, health and the wider community sector to directly address the wellbeing needs of those most affected by the pandemic.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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