Changing the conversation about health

National Social Prescribing Network celebrates five years – and announces the next Social Prescribing Day

Five years ago this week the National Social Prescribing Network was founded. What started as a spark of an idea has become a hugely successful movement that has seen social prescribing move from the periphery into mainstream health.

In a message to members, the Network’s co-founders, Dr Michael Dixon and Dr Marie Polley, celebrate a milestone birthday, despite the difficult times we currently find ourselves in.

Read their full message below:

‘It has been a really extraordinary five years and everyone in the National Social Prescribing Network should be proud that we have made our mark and created a popular movement that has made social prescribing mainstream and part of government policy in such a short time.

The support of Ministers, Department of Health and NHS England has all been crucial, but among you are the real pioneers and activists without which none of this would have happened. Not only that, social prescribing is a topic being discussed around the world. Who would have thought this would happen when we wrote the first grant?

We regard the Network as a group of friends – albeit a rather large one – supporting and challenging each other, creating new ideas, sharing the same values and ambitions, celebrating our successes and learning from our failures.

(Pictured: Dr Marie Polley on BBC One’s Countryfile discussing social prescribing with presenter Anita Rani)

It has been a truly wonderful five years and thank you – each one of you –  for everything that you have done and continue to do. You can say without any contradiction that you have made the world a better place.

So what better day to announce that the next International Social Prescribing Day will be 18th March 2021.

Our 3rd International Social Prescribing Network Conference gets ever closer and we are incredibly excited to announce that our  programme now includes a special address to the conference by HRH The Prince of Wales. You can book your place here.

Finally, you have until this Friday to get your entry into the Social Prescribing Network Awards. All details can be found here.  Who do you think deserves to be acknowledged for their hard work in social prescribing?’

By Dr Bogdan Chiva-Giurca

Social Prescribing Day aims to ensure social prescribing continues to grow as a grassroots movement. During the pandemic, communities have come together to support those most in need, to enable them to stay active and connected during the pandemic.

One might argue that social prescribing 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. 

This year’s international #SocialPrescribingDay will aim to celebrate the thousands of projects set up to maintain the health of our communities during the COVID19 pandemic.

Whether you’ve set up a project or whether you know someone who’s been benefiting greatly from an online social prescribing initiative during the pandemic, join us on the 18th of March 2021 on social media to share our stories and let the world know how social prescribing has kept us connected, healthy, and engaged during a global crisis.

How can you support the day? There will be a series of events and plans advertised shortly, but in the meantime, you can use the following banners and logos via social media and email signature to spread the word.