Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Connect Well is Red Zebra's social prescribing project; social prescribing is a way to help people make positive changes in their lives and within their communities by linking them to voluntary and community groups and other non-clinical services.

There are many people in the Canterbury district who are struggling with a wide variety of difficulties such as social isolation, carer needs, debt or domestic support needs. There are often services and activities available in the local communities that can address these social needs but may not be widely known about. Many people will attend a GP appointment because they are not feeling well or because they don’t know where else to turn; they may continue to go to the GP even after the GP has prescribed all appropriate medical interventions. This is where social prescribing can help, by offering sources of support within the community that can operate alongside medical treatments to improve health and well-being.

The benefits of this approach include helping people to:
• Feel more involved in the community
• Meet new people
• Make some changes to improve health and wellbeing

Our social prescribing coordinators receive referrals from a range of sources including GPs, Health and Social Care Coordinators and other health professionals, Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue and Adult Social Services, as well as from individuals themselves. The social prescriber will meet the individual at a community venue or in their home, discuss their needs and together they will look for appropriate activities and services and make the referrals. Social prescribers work with each individual for around 6 weeks to ensure the referrals are working well and the individual is benefitting from them.

It’s working well with my befriender. She comes every week for an hour. My confidence is increasing and am visiting a lunch club on Thursday
Very good service, helped to find art activities
Have been using the yoga I was referred to and now feel I am ready to move to something more energetic and feel able to speak to the trainer myself

Our social prescribing project has developed and maintains a database, called Connect Well, of over 350 different activities and services available in the Canterbury district. We are always looking for new organisations and services to add to the database to support individuals. Most services are free or low cost which means people are not excluded through their financial situation.

Client story

Joe was phoning his GP daily. The GP could not do any more for him medically and referred him to Social Prescribing. A social prescriber visited him at home and through chatting discovered he was lonely and socially isolated with no local family around him. He had mobility issues, felt depressed, would like to meet new people and was frustrated he couldn't maintain his garden. Together they looked at the Connect Well data base of activities and support available in Joe's local community and made a plan of action. The social prescriber referred Joe for befriending and gardening services. The outcomes have been that Joe is much brighter in himself. He is enjoying the weekly visit from his befriender and is growing in confidence to the extent of planning to attend a lunch club. Gardeners have been maintaining the garden which he is very pleased with. He is also planning a visit to stay with a family member.

This financial year has seen 195 new people use our service, an increase of 89% on last year. Currently we average around 33 new people per month compared with 16 per month last year. We anticipate this growth rate will continue. We are working at full capacity and would use the Aviva funds to employ another social prescriber with a particular responsibility for updating and developing the Connect Well database. An additional worker in this role would give us the capacity to support 150 more people per year and keep the database updated more regularly.

Red Zebra Community Solutions

Location: Whitstable

Seeing people's health and wellbeing improve. Bringing hope to those who are facing challenging situations that some things can be changed and supporting them as they initiate that change eg helping those that are socially isolated find new friends and get involved with their local community.
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