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12 new 'social prescribing' initiatives from Community Chest 2023 funding

Published: 5 June 2023
Filed under: Health and wellbeing

Twelve community groups can launch initiatives to help residents with their health and wellbeing after benefitting from over £69,000 in Council funding.

The Community Chest for social prescribing funding gave small to medium-sized charities, voluntary and faith groups, and social enterprises the chance to bid for up to £10,000 funding from money provided by the Waltham Forest place-based partnership, in collaboration with the NHS.

Applications for funding were reviewed by a panel of health, local authority, voluntary sector and local residents. Successful proposals focused on tackling the cost of living, digital exclusion and health, as well as supporting people with learning difficulties and disabilities, long-term conditions and their mental health.

Successful projects are listed below:

JoyRiders Britain: Ride and Thrive

JoyRiders’ cycling sessions for women will be expanded through this new project, which aims to extend the existing weekly led rides to one evening and one weekend ride over the summer months. It will also offer several women-only bike mechanic courses to get women more confident in maintaining their bike and saving money.

Waltham Forest Parent Forum: Meet & Eat

The Forum’s new series of Meet & Eat evening meals, for parents of SEND children and young people, aim to prevent social isolation and help parents make friendships with other parents who have children of a similar age. They are particularly (though not exclusively) aimed at those who cannot attend daytime events due to work commitments. The events will take place across Waltham Forest.

The Together Space: Monthly Events

The Together Space puts on a series of monthly events for families with children who have learning disabilities and neurotypical children. These events offer an inclusive pop-up café, play area and studio space for both learning disabled and neurotypical children/young people and their families. Events also create some employment opportunities for young adults with a learning disability.

Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelter: Summer Project

FCENS, who run a drop-in centre for homeless people in Waltham Forest, will launch a summer project which will involve staff and some service users getting training in co-production.

Waltham Forest Disability Resource Centre (WFDRC): Belonging

WFDRC’s newly funded project is an art and creative writing project for disabled adults and adults with learning disabilities. The project will provide exciting mixed media workshops, including guided meditation, art and creative writing, participants will produce personal and group works for an exhibition at a Waltham Forest venue.

Life After Cancer: Community Support programme

This new programme will work with 72 people who have had cancer from Waltham Forest to help them form close bonds with people in their community, reduce isolation and boost their mental wellbeing, through a mixture of face-to-face support groups and a group coaching programme.

The Farm Community Kitchen

The Farm Community Kitchen will create a local support for single parents in South Leytonstone. Their desire is to create connections among parents navigating challenges such as social isolation and the cost of living – and increase awareness of local support services. We will do this by hosting free, regular events at our cafe, welcome to all.

The Mill @ Coppermill: Beyond Appearances: invisible disabilities

The Mill’s new project is a series of creative workshops involving participants suffering from mental health challenges and learning difficulties. Participants will collaborate with artists to create a visual art exhibition. There will also be a pilot of a monthly social group for young neurodiverse people and their families and a training session on autism and neurodiversity for the Mill staff and volunteers.

We Flock CIC: Communitea (Warm Space, continued)

This over-50s social and wellness space runs on Thursday afternoons. Locals are welcomed in for a cuppa, as well as accessible, relevant activities and general warmth. Activities are focused on areas that affect over-50s’ health and wellbeing and addressing issues of exclusion and isolation.

The Gleaners Café Cooperative CIC: Leftovers Club

The new Leftovers Club will provide a free, hot and nutritious plant-based communal lunch – then discuss how it was made from surplus ingredients and share recipes for home cooking. Local people (referrals) can bring/discuss leftovers commonly in their homes and we will come up with cost-effective ideas for what they can make with them.

Waltham Forest Hearing Voices Group

A peer support group for people who hear voices, see visions, or have similar sensory experiences to meet in a safe, non-judgemental space where its members can offer support and coping strategies, funding is for programme of social activities and health awareness talks.

Bags of Taste: Mentored Home-Cooking Courses

This behaviour change course is structured to overcome the many barriers people face to eat well. It specifically aims to support people with a variety of disadvantages. The key focuses are on addressing health inequalities and outcomes, and improving people’s diets, health and finances.