This month, we’re doing things a bit differently for #blabchat and have asked Vicky Green, our Head of Locality for the Black Country, to guest host a discussion around the theme of ‘Social Prescribing & Asset Based Coaching’. There’s lots of talk at the moment about Social Prescribing so we thought it was the perfect topic for this month’s discussion….
The NHS define Social Prescribing as a means of enabling GPs and other frontline healthcare professionals to refer people to ‘services’ in their community instead of offering medical solutions. Often the first point of referral is a link worker or ‘community connector’ who can talk to each person about the things that matter to them. Together they can co-produce a social prescription that will help to improve their health and well-being.
Community activities can range from art classes to singing groups, from walking clubs to gardening, and many other interest groups. As well as being of use to people who are lonely or isolated; people with mild mental health issues who may be anxious or depressed, social prescribing is rapidly becoming recognised as relevant to people with wider social issues such as poverty, debt, housing, relationship problems, all of which impact on their health and well-being.
At Bromford, we believe that with the right home and the right relationship, every one of our customers can achieve more. Through our Localities approach the relationship between customers and their communities is the most important part in changing the lives of our customers and their neighbourhoods for the long term. Our Neighbourhood Coaches are based in communities and their focus is coach customers to take control of their own lives. By understanding the natural infrastructure of both informal and formal community activities and knowing ‘how things get done around here and who does it’’ is the starting point of making these important connections.
Back in the Summer, we partnered with Elemental and the West Midlands Combined Authority to pilot Social Prescribing in the Black Country. We wanted to better understand the relationship between Social Prescribing and our own coaching approach : this has really challenged us as even the phrase ‘prescribing’ is somewhat out of sync with our Localities approach . However, we wanted to test this and see how this would look like from a housing approach. Earlier this year, the Royal College of General Practitioners called upon the Government to facilitate Social Prescribing across all GP surgeries and more recently the Government themselves have included Social Prescribing as a key component of the UK’s first Loneliness Strategy meaning there has never been a better time to stretch our thinking.
So, with all of that in mind and our own Social Prescribing evaluation being drafted as I type, I’m really happy to have been invited to guest host the November #blabchat discussion around the role that social prescribing and asset based coaching will play in our communities over the coming months and years.
Here are the questions!
Please remember to label your answers A1, A2, A3, etc and most importantly, don't forget to use #blabchat when you respond, even if it’s replying to someone else's tweet.
Join us for some thought provoking chat on Thursday 1st November from 8pm. Looking forward to chatting with you all!
About the Author
Vicky Green is the Bromford’s Head of Locality in the Black Country and has a passion for communities, in particular harnessing the strengths of people and helping them to achieve great things. Vicky leads a team of Neighbourhood Coaches who work across 3600 homes, focusing on building relationships with Bromford customers to help them realise their own aspirations in life.
Recently, two Neighbourhood Coaches from the Black Country locality took part in a three month Social Prescribing test with Elemental and the West Midlands Combined Authority.