Local Arts and Wellbeing charity St Margaret's House and partners will be delivering a project designed to help people of Tower Hamlets to recover from COVID-19 through the power of social prescribing. The group, based in Bethnal Green will be extending its reach and influence to deliver a wealth of creative activities to improve wellbeing and create a network to increase awareness of social prescribing. They are celebrating after being awarded £47,343 from the Thriving Communities Fund to support its work. The project will increase social connectedness and help Tower Hamlets communities cope with the impact of COVID-19, as part of a national initiative to embed social prescribing in communities and healthcare.
Their project will build more awareness of social prescribing through networks and public events and create a programme of activities for people of all ages under the title of "The Health Tree" impacting over 300 people from Tower Hamlets. They will organise initiatives to address issues of long-term COVID, mental health, and physical activity. Activities will include COVID Café's, yoga, creative walks, nutrition, wellness workshops, woodwork, legal advice, and talks. This will result in increased awareness of social prescribing opportunities and healthier residents.
The Health Tree will be working with Tower Hamlets GP Care Group, Tower Hamlets CVS, National Academy of Social Prescribing, and London Plus to increase the uptake of social prescribing to help improve the health and resilience of a community that has been hit by COVID-19 and lockdowns.
Shaka Lish Wellbeing Manager at St Margaret's House says: "We're delighted that The Thriving Communities Fund has recognised the potential of our partnership in "The Health Tree". Now, we will be able to build some exciting partnerships with social prescribing link workers and deliver a really exciting creative programme. This is important because of the significant impact on people's mental health through being in lockdown."
Social prescribing enables health care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services to support their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The Thriving Communities Fund will support 37 projects across England and is being delivered in a unique partnership between the Arts Council England, Historic England and Natural England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, the Money & Pensions Service, and NHS Charities Together.
It is part of the Thriving Community programme, which aims to strengthen the range of social prescribing activities offered locally, enhance collaboration and networking between local organisations and enable social prescribing link workers to connect people to more creative community activities and services. The programme is enabling providers working in arts, culture and heritage, nature, physical activity, and offering life advice and support to develop initiatives, learn and network, and build the evidence base for social prescribing.