Today is International Social Prescribing Day and we’re marking the occasion by celebrating our relationship with West Suffolk Council’s social prescribing team – LifeLink.
LifeLink, led by West Suffolk Council, is a free service for anyone over 16 years old, that connects people to social activities, clubs, groups and local services that are on offer in their local community, such as use of the leisure facilities and activities available at Abbeycroft Leisure.
LifeLink coordinators coach participants on a one-to-one basis, working together to find each person’s ways to improve their wellbeing and meet their needs.
West Suffolk LifeLink Participant from Mildenhall said:
‘The Abbeycroft membership came at the right time as I was off work and not very active. I went to the gym induction and found the staff really friendly and helpful. I then went to the gym and used the equipment quite a few times.I started swimming regularly and have really missed it during Lockdown. I’m really looking forward to starting again and renewing my membership. If anyone is thinking about joining the gym, they should definitely give it a try.’
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said:
“West Suffolk Council’s LifeLink Social Prescribing scheme has gone from strength to strength and is making a real difference to people’s lives and wellbeing as well as reducing pressure on health services. The initiative has adapted to meet the changes brought by COVID-19 during the past year.
It has helped more than 2,000 people get connected with the right opportunities and services to meet their needs. Providing coaching, support and signposting, the LifeLink team have delivered over 1,880 hours of dedicated one to one time in a year and play a great part in West Suffolk Council’s ongoing families and communities work bringing tailored local solutions to meet residents’ needs.
“We work in collaborative way across the Alliance, working with key partners such as Abbeycroft leisure, health, public sector, voluntary sector and private companies. National Social prescribing Day on 18 March, gives an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the positive impact that West Suffolk LifeLink has had on people’s individual goals, wellbeing and health outcomes.”
Matt Hickey, Development Manager, Health Fitness & Physical Activity at Abbeycroft said:
“We’re very proud of our partnership with the West Suffolk Council LifeLink team, which has been in place since LifeLink launched in 2017.
The participants that come to us via the LifeLink coordinators are given the right amount of support that they need, and this is obviously different for everyone.
We’ve adapted our services during the lockdown, so that the team can now refer into our online digital offer, whilst we’re waiting for the centres to reopen.
LifeLink is a great scheme which is needed now more than ever, given the devastating effect of the pandemic, not only on our physical health, but also on our mental health, regardless of our age and demographic and we look forward to helping more people through this scheme to lead healthier, active lives.
For more information about LifeLink visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/community/lifelink/
(Stock photo above – representative of leisure support)
Social Prescribing with Active Suffolk
Read more about Social Prescribing in Suffolk, from our partners, Active Suffolk.
Hear from Sophie Cummins, a community connector in the Babergh area, and her experiences of the vital and rewarding job she does.
What is International Social Prescribing Day?
Social Prescribing Day (scheduled 18th of March 2021) is an event aiming to foster an attitudinal change, to shift the power to the people and local communities, to forge cross-sectoral collaboration, to promote co-design and co-creation, and to ensure social prescribing continues to grow as a grassroots movement.