To mark International Social Prescribing Day, The Conservation Volunteers, who are among the leaders in social prescribing, especially utilising green spaces, are highlighting the importance and significance that the movement is having on the healthcare sector.
1 in 4 patients visit their GPs for social problems and welfare advice, issues that cannot be solved with medicine or pills. Social prescribing is a healthcare revolution that offers patients ‘more than pills’ and puts them in control to improve their quality of life and emotional wellbeing, mental and general wellbeing, as well as improving levels of depression and anxiety.
Since the launch of our Green Gym programmes in 1998, TCV have been at the forefront of what is now called social prescribing, often with the support and funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.
Green Gym provides outdoor exercise with a difference, encouraging participants to make positive changes to their lifestyles and enhancing mental wellbeing through increased contact with nature.
“TCV’s Green Gym recognises that we have spent most of our evolution within the natural environment, supporting each other to overcome challenges along the way.
The evidence is clear that exposure to green spaces improves mental health, while the group-based nature of our programmes reduces isolation and instils community resilience.”Craig Lister, Green Gym Managing Director.
Through Craig, using funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, we have also developed the Quality Assurance Framework for social prescribing through a large co-production across the UK, presenting the position that social prescribing should be viewed as equitable to any other form of prescribing.
“For more than 20 years, TCV’s Green Gym programme has championed the positive impact which green spaces have on people’s health and wellbeing.
We’re extremely proud and excited to be at the heart of a growing social prescribing movement which will see more people coming together, to create and care for green spaces, and to feel healthier and happier as a result.”Darren York – CEO of The Conservation Volunteers
Today provides those involved in developing social prescribing the opportunity to empower key stakeholders to collaborate, bring together those people with a shared passion for social prescribing, and to disseminate the positive benefits and impacts of social prescribing.