Social Prescribing in Rushey Green

RusheyGreenLogoThe Rushey Green Practice has been using social prescribing for the last 10 years. It ‘prescribes’ patients with symptoms of depression and isolation, an opportunity to volunteer through its own timebank. Patients who join and volunteer by gardening, cooking, painting or doing other community work are rewarded with credits in the timebank system as well as forming new social connections.
 
Evidence suggests this reduces isolation and increases a sense of purpose (as patients become assets to others), as well as improving mental and physical health.
 
With more than 200 participants, mostly over 50, the time bank also reaches beyond the practice – 45% of participants are referred. Participants reach out and recruit new members in the community, help to organise and run events. There are also paid staff, particularly to match people to tasks, work with people with mental health needs, and monitor safeguarding issues.
 
Now a charity, the time-bank is now partly funded by Lewisham Primary Care Trust amongst others.
 
For more information: http://www.rgtb.org.uk/ and other examples of social prescribing in Bradford and Newcastle

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