A social prescribing network in the Fylde coast
The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) has worked alongside the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE) and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) on the Fylde Coast as part of a Test and Learn initiative.
The focus of the Test and Learn initiative was on the cross-sector gap where colleagues in Primary Care and the VCFSE did not cross paths often, and on the need for a social prescribing community that works together – regardless of whether it is hosted by a PCN or VCFSE organisation.
In response, a small steering group formed, combining the expertise and experience of Lytham St Anne’s Primary Care Network (two Social Prescribing Link Workers and a Practice Manager), Blackpool Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Blackpool Volunteer Centre.
The idea, developed by the local team, was to establish a local Social Prescribing Network for Social Prescribing Link Workers on the Fylde Coast – to share local experiences, more actively listen to voices from communities, make connections and tackle challenges together. The network has been operating successfully since October 2020 and has provided a focal point where relationships can build around a common purpose.
Working together to develop social prescribing in the area has enabled the cross-sector group to learn through doing, finding ways to overcome challenges as they arise and establishing a common purpose. It has also helped those involved to get to know about and build relationships with other social prescribing colleagues.