Green social prescribing
We have been running social prescribing activities from Petrus Incredible Edibles Rochdale (PIER) for over six years, including a gardening-on-prescription service. The NHS has recently provided funding for Social Prescribing Link Workers, who provide a link between people who would like some help, and those in their community who have something to offer, other helpful services and local support.
We run green social prescribing activities across three main areas:
Nature for Health, NHS Greater Manchester's green social prescribing programme
In 2021, NHS Greater Manchester received government funding for a two-year pilot project that aims to use our connection with nature to improve mental health. We applied for funding to run nature-based, green social prescribing activities as part of this. Our funding allowed us to recruit two specialist roles - a Social And Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner and an Engagement And Development Worker. Both roles are based at PIER and the GP Surgeries. Social prescribing activity delivered through this programme includes circus skills and horticultural training and courses.
Youth social prescribing
We are working with Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership to support social prescribing in 8 colleges across the region. Working with the AOC (Association of Colleges) and Street Games we are testing different ways of introducing social prescribing into schools and colleges, so that children and young people can get support where they spend most of their time and have employed a Youth Social Prescribing Link Worker. Bryony's role is funded through public health bounce back fund but the Based at Hopwood Hall, Rochdale. The aim of the Youth Social Prescribing Link Worker is to identify young people who are at a higher risk of needing health and wellbeing support and supports Petrus’ aims to reduce the risk of young people facing homelessness. Activities have included kayaking and canoeing at Hollingworth Lake, volunteering with the Canal and River Trust to tidy the canal side, arts and crafts sessions, visits to local galleries and creating a group for LGBTQIA+ students.
National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP)
We received funding through NASP to deliver part of their Thriving Communities initiative and have employed a Thriving Communities Social Prescribing Project Worker. This funding ended in in June 2022. As part of this programme, we went into the local communities to talk about the social prescribing activities we offer and ensure that the referral process was simple and quick. Through NASP funding, we delivered willow weaving, arts and crafts sessions, workshops and took local residents on regular walking groups.