National Academy for Social Prescribing publishes free guide to help volunteer organisations provide a supportive environment for people referred through social prescribing

A free guide is on offer to help volunteer organisations design supportive volunteering roles for people with health and social care needs who may be referred through social prescribing.

7 steps to wellbeing through volunteering: How to link to social prescribing is published by the National Academy for Social Prescribing [NASP] and the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) as part of the Accelerating Innovation in Social Prescribing programme.

The 7 steps are:

1. Meet people where they are.
2. Make it personal.
3. Put wellbeing at the heart. 
4. Build circles of support.
5. Make it social.
6. Remember it’s a journey, and 
7. If you treasure it, measure it.

​The full guide expands on each point, explaining why it matters and what can be done to ensure these principles are at the heart of any volunteering programme for people who have been socially prescribed.

Published on the website alongside the guide, there will also be tools and resources for organisations wanting to learn more or integrate the advice into their programme.

Demonstrating these ideas in action there are also two case studies of people who have been prescribed a voluntary role that has had a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

The Accelerating Innovation programme is a partnership between The National Academy for Social Prescribing, Royal Voluntary Service and NHS England & Improvement. The programme champions innovative ideas and approaches to social prescribing especially those which address health inequalities and Covid-19 recovery strategies. The aim is to reach more people and transform more lives across the country.

Ingrid Abreu Scherer, Head of Accelerating Innovation at the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said:

“Charities and community groups are great at providing rich and meaningful volunteering opportunities. This guide helps them think about what else they could do to include volunteers who are referred through social prescribing, to make sure as many people as possible can benefit from the experience.”

Jarina Choudhury, Strategic Volunteering Lead at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), commented:

“I’m delighted that this guide supports good volunteering in social prescribing and that it chimes with many of the Vision for Volunteering’s key themes – in particular, that volunteering should be accessible and welcoming, removing barriers from those who would most benefit.

“The strengths-based approach also reflects the Vision’s desire to see more power in the hands of volunteers, and the emphasis on building circles of support builds on what the Vision says about making collaboration and experimentation in volunteering more mainstream.”

Click here to access7 steps to wellbeing through volunteering: How to link to social prescribing“.

Source: UK Fundraising