Wellbeing Matters

Wellbeing Matters logo

Funded until March 2021, Wellbeing Matters is led by Salford CVS, the support organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

Wellbeing Matters includes a social prescribing approach which links statutory health and care services to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

The aim is to support people to connect to local community assets to support their wellbeing and independence, reducing the need for intervention by health and care services.

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What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing, sometimes called a community referral, is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.

Recognising that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. It also aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health.

Social prescribing schemes can involve a variety of activities which are typically provided by voluntary and community sector organisations. Examples include volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.

Social Prescribing is listed as one of the ten high impact actions in the NHS England General Practice forward view.

What is Wellbeing Matters?

Wellbeing Matters is a Social Prescribing approach which helps build capacity in VCSE ecosystem through volunteering and voluntary action in Salford.

Our Social Prescribing approach connecting patients to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to support wellbeing. Wellbeing Matters provides social prescribing support through a Community Connector to enable people to access non-medical wellbeing support within their neighbourhood by connecting them into local activity and provision tailored to them.

It is a neighbourhood model, operating across Salford with a Community Connector in each of the five health and care neighbourhoods and a city wide Community Connector. Wellbeing Matters is led by Salford CVS and through Salford Third Sector Consortium 6 VSCE anchor organisations employ a Community Connector (The Big Life Group, START inspiring Minds, Unlimited Potential, Social Adventures, Inspiring Communities Together and Langworthy Cornerstone)

How does it work?

Our Team of Community Connectors works closely with primary care and statutory health and care services to provide additional support to patients identified as requiring non-medical help with their wellbeing. Each Community Connector has an in-depth understanding and knowledge of their neighbourhood in relation to services, groups and activities that help support people to improve wellbeing. 

The Community Connector provides space for an individual to discuss what matters to them, help them to feel more connected to their community, and help create an action plan, help to increase confidence and feel less socially isolated by linking them into local groups and services. The goal of this is for an individual to be better equipped to manage their own health and wellbeing.

Community Connectors are based within GP practices and in community settings, our referral pathways are GP practice, Adult Health and Social Care contact team and Salford Enhanced care team. Referrals are made via the Elemental integrated platform on EMIS or VISON. All referrals to be contacted 3-5 working days.

Referrals can be made for anybody who presents with a non-medical need, social issue or who would benefit from a more holistic approach in terms of improving their health and wellbeing. Social Prescribing is designed to complement traditional medical approaches and therapies. Examples could include Loneliness/social isolation, Anxiety / depression, one or more long term condition and Housing.

During Lockdown the Wellbeing Matters team has continued to support patients with telephone and online appointments, wellness checks and connecting to appropriate support.

  • Offer phone / online appointments, Conversations focus on what that individual can control and their actions to stay safe and well in the coming weeks, this includes the use of telephone interpreter services for those that need them.
  • Monitor and support individuals self-isolating though wellness checks and offering personalised plans to keep well. This includes encouraging healthy nutrition, physical and mental wellbeing activities.
  • Connect individuals to local support offers including online support and app and adapt the 5 Ways to Wellbeing for ideas to support for participants.

What are the benefits?

Support at the right time, space to consider options and be listened to; increased feeling of connectivity with their community; increased confidence; improved mental health; increased physical activity levels; reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation; improved health and wellbeing; improved levels of self-management of long-term conditions and increased resilience.

Find out about the feedback Wellbeing Matters has received and case studies.

Building capacity

Alongside the social prescribing approach Wellbeing Matters and Salford CVS works to Develop capacity in local communities to support volunteering and voluntary action around the 5 ways to wellbeing with Volunteering Development Workers building the eco-system to socially prescribe into. Community groups may need support from exploring funding opportunities, attracting volunteers, developing and building their group, promotion and becoming constituted. Our Volunteering Development workers support local groups the Community Connectors refer into to ensure the sustainability of the Community. This work includes supporting a citywide campaign to recruit more volunteers in Salford, ensuring good practice is at the heart of all of our activities.

The specific areas of focus are:

  • Recruiting new volunteers for a wide range of local VCSE sector volunteer-involving organisations;
  • Supporting existing Volunteer Wellbeing Champions and recruiting and training new Champions;
  • Supporting place-based VCSE anchors with their volunteering programmes;
  • Supporting the delivery of the new social prescribing model for Salford;
  • Enabling volunteer-led and small groups to take on more volunteers and increase local participation and engagement – encompassing both formal volunteering alongside social action, time-banking, and other forms of civic participation;
  • Playing an active role in promoting wider person and community-centred approaches to wellbeing and health in Salford;
  • Supporting the other two Wellbeing Matters programme interdependent workstreams.

The story so far...

  • Commenced delivery December 2018
  • 1809 social prescribing referrals received in 10 months (original target was 2,400 over two years)
  • All GPs in Salford able to refer via Elemental platform
  • 242 organisations, groups, activities to date that deliver an offer of support that a Community Connector refers to
  • 1,590 total prescriptions / referrals / interventions ‘out to the community’ to date
  • 204 VCSE groups / organisations have been supported and provided with information, advice and guidance in relation to their volunteering programmes
  • 178 voluntary and community initiatives received capacity-building support
  • 125 different volunteering opportunities have been developed
  • 179 volunteers have been recruited and placed into opportunities
  • 38 projects / groups have received a neighbourhood micro-grant and neighbourhood impact grant

Useful links for more information on Wellbeing Matters here.

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 
Email: office@salfordcvs.co.uk

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Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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