At a time when we can’t be together physically, many people tell us they have been left feeling bereft and lost without the support of clubs and other social groups that they would normally have sought help from. Together Co Social Prescribing has been at the forefront of adapting its approach to link work and encouraging the people we work with to see new opportunities where they may not have been before. To celebrate Social Prescribing Day, Together Co Social Prescribing Link Worker, Sarah Akhtar, writes about some of the ways that we have done this.
1. Supporting clients to use digital platforms and stay connected.
Many clients have told us they don’t feel confident with technology. We’ve referred people to Digital Brighton and Hove. Here they can get help from a digital champion for support to learn how to use their tablet, for things like online shopping and speaking with their grandchildren on Zoom.
2. Providing welfare calls by phone and video call.
Lots of clients tell us they are feeling extremely isolated and alone. Link workers have been staying in touch with people who need a bit of extra support. We chat with them about how their week has been and have even listened to one or two people playing their instruments!
3. Giving clients time and space to work out what is important to them and build on their strengths.
Sometimes clients know they would like support, but aren’t sure what they’d benefit from. Social Prescribing is really well placed to help people think about what’s important to them. We’ve helped people to prioritise their goals and reconnect with old and new hobbies, as well as linking in with talking therapies, mindfulness and online groups
4. Knowing the local offers and finding out how they are operating during COVID (Brighton and Hove is an amazing place!)
We spend a lot of time talking to different organisations around the city. We ask about their offer and how they can support our clients to combat loneliness, stay active and make connections. We then link our clients to their chosen organisation and check in with both parties to see how it’s going.
5. Seeking the advice and guidance from your colleagues and sharing resources to enhance the client’s experience.
Link workers are always sharing information amongst themselves as well as with other services in the city. We pride ourselves on being able to offer services in line with what individuals want and need. We support other organisations to become better informed through our approach to joint working – we will never ‘’hog’’ our knowledge and resources!
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© 2019 Together Collective a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales: Company No. 03895574, whose registered office is Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD. Together Collective is a registered charity: Charity No. 1083390