AVA celebrates International Social Prescribing Day with a funding announcement!


Ashfield Voluntary Action (AVA) has even more reason to celebrate today as we have been awarded nearly £49,000 from the ‘Thriving Communities’ fund! AVA is one of the 37 grantees across England who received fantastic news of their share of the £1.8 million funding.


The Thriving Communities funding will enable AVA and our key partners, including First Art, to enhance local community and voluntary activities which benefit the health & wellbeing of people living in Ashfield.


1 in 5 GP appointments are from people who do not have a medical condition, instead patients may need help with wider social needs such as isolation, poor and insecure housing, debt, benefits, employment issues, family issues and domestic violence. Social Prescribing is an alternative form of support for those who need help from their GP.


In these circumstances the GP often refers to a Social Prescribing ‘link worker’ who can have a conversation to learn about your problems and help to design a solution that is personal to you. This could be referral to arts classes, online confidence-building sessions, social activities, gardening clubs, sports activities, walking groups, or accessing a local community group.


The funding will enable increased activities across the District to help support even more people who are referred to a link worker.


Teresa Jackson, Manager at AVA, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded the Thriving Communities funding. AVA has a lot of experience working with local community groups, partners, and social prescribers - so we know first-hand how important social prescribing is for people living in Ashfield. The value of the arts and social activities shouldn’t be underestimated because they are essential to our health and wellbeing.


“Whether a patient is referred to a walking football club, music for dementia, outdoor arts & heritage trails, or a Nordic walking groups, these community-based activities are vital to the wellbeing of the Ashfield. This programme reflects our own ambition to support and champion community groups delivering social prescribing activities, particularly for those who have been most impacted by COVID.”


This funding is delivered in a unique partnership between the National Academy for Social Prescribing, Arts Council England, Historic England and Natural England, NHS England and Improvement, Sport England, the Money and Pensions Service, and NHS Charities Together, and is part of the Thriving Communities Programme.


If you would like more information about the Thriving Communities fund, or are a community group who would like to get involved, please contact Anna Kerr on: a.kerr@ashfieldvoluntaryaction.org.uk or call 01623 555 551.

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