Spotlight on GRCC's Social Prescribers, for National Social Prescribing Day.

With national Social Prescribing Day coming up, this week at GRCC we’re focussing on our Social Prescribing team.   Over on our social media channels at the moment, you’ll see lots of posts showing the sort of work that our Social Prescribers do every day.

National Social Prescribing Day, 9th March 2023.  Graphic showing cartoon people participating in lots of activities such as art, music, and exercise.

GRCC has a team of six Social Prescribers, who run the Community Wellbeing Service for the Cotswold District.    Independence Trust, which is now part of GRCC, runs a similar service in the Stroud and Berkeley Vale area, with another six staff.

But how many people know what “Social Prescribing” means?  According to NHS England, Social Prescribing is “an approach that connects people to activities, groups, and services in their community to meet the practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing.” 

Amanda Wragg, our Community Wellbeing Service Project Manager, explains Social Prescribing like this:  “We work with people on a one-to-one basis, and start with discussing the main things that are really bothering the person – what matters to them. This could be to do with finances, housing, relationships, or big changes in their life such as bereavement, or losing or trying to find a job,” said Amanda. 

“Or it could be stress and anxiety, loneliness, isolation or health issues. It may be to do with addiction, or trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It may be that a person wants to find more purpose through taking up a hobby or finding a group to connect to”.

Social Prescribers help their clients to find groups, support, and activities in their local community which could help them to feel better, often by being more active or by getting more social contact with other people. 

“It’s quite hard to define what Social Prescribing is really, as there are so many facets to the role!,” said Annabelle Fox, GRCC’s Social Prescriber for the North Cotswolds.  “It is a privilege though – working with people who might need a bit of support, advice, or signposting to help them lead rich and happy lives.  We help people reach a point where they are motivated to get up in the morning and be a part of their community.”

Here’s how Karen Price, our Social Prescribing Link Worker for young people in the North Cotswolds, explains what she does:

“Social Prescribing is a non-medical approach to improve Health and Wellbeing.  My first question to the young person is ‘What matters to them?’. This question makes a young person feel valued. It enables them to have a voice and feel listened to. We find out about all the aspects of their lives that are positive and going well, we celebrate the positives!  We then focus on the challenges, the improvements, the changes.”

Our Social Prescribers love the work they do, and it’s often made more rewarding by the feedback they get from their clients.   Here are a few comments that our Social Prescribers have received recently from people who they’ve been supporting:

“Having someone listen to me and help me talk through my options has really helped.”

“Looking at different strategies to manage my emotions was really good.”

 “I look forward to our appointments because I can talk about anything I need to.”

“I felt listened to and understood by the Social Prescriber who then helped me find a pathway forward.”

“ I am only here because of your help alongside Lizzy at Sunflowers Trust - both propping me up -  and I will never be able to thank you both enough  - I’m not sure I’d be here otherwise…” 

“It has changed my life  – please make sure you pop by for a cup of tea and cake with us….”

If you or someone you know could benefit from the support of a Social Prescriber, in the Cotswold District of Gloucestershire you can contact our Community Wellbeing Service on 07738 106384, or email 

If you live in a different part of the county, you can find contact details for the Community Wellbeing Service in your area via this page.