We are delighted to announce the appointment of Anita Barrand as our social prescribing coordinator at L4A, as well as the beginning of a brand new two year project.
From November 2016, L4A is piloting two year project working with the Patient Participation Group (PPG) of Downing Drive GP surgery in Evington. The idea of social prescribing is that the cure for many modern ailments may be more than just medication and this project will explore what that might look like over a two year pilot period.
The PPG and the GP practice will work with patients to recommend and encourage learning both in groups in the building next door to the practice or in the homes of individual patients where appropriate. It will also reduce the impact of health conditions on loneliness as meaningful activities based on learning and development will be accessible to all. There will be no pre-requisite for a particular skill, knowledge basis or physical ability. Older people will be able to participate at any level and actively enabled to do so. This is achievable through a mix of both group and one–to–one learning activities. We will also explore local volunteering with older people as a cure for a range of ailments, for example depression or loneliness, but also as a way of rehabilitating people back into community connectedness, employment or wellbeing.
This project will use learning or volunteering as the medium to engage isolated older people in their communities, particularly with the option of either small group learning centres next to the GP surgery or the offer of learning one-to-one at home. The aim is to reconnect older people to their communities, both isolated ‘older old’ who will be prescribed learning opportunities and older volunteers who will engage with others. It will enable the connections to be made by provide suitable tailored activities that ultimately will improve health and wellbeing.
The project will help to build self-confidence and their self-esteem. Working with groups of volunteers drawn from the local community, the project will allow the skills, knowledge and experiences of the older people to be valued as they are encouraged to share them with those living in the same locality as them. Weekly sessions with the same groups will enable strong relationships to develop. Individual volunteers may change, but the service delivery will not.
To contact Anita or for more information about the project at all, please email her on Anita.Barrand@l4a.org.uk or call her on 07964 091 693.