Green social prescribing schemes open for applications

Green social prescribing schemes open for applications

A ground-breaking scheme of £4.27m has launched to help the mental wellbeing of communities hardest hit by Covid-19.

The project will look at how to scale-up green social prescribing services in England to help advance mental health outcomes, reduce health inequalities and lessen demand on the health and social care system.

The fund, previously announced in July by Environment Secretary, George Eustice, is now officially open for funding applications from potential delivery partners.

Partnerships of local health, care and environment leads are encouraged to apply to become a ‘test and learn’ site for this pioneering social prescribing project.  

Social prescribing aims to connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support and to improve health and wellbeing.

Evidence including from Natural England shows that the NHS could save over £2 billion in treatment costs if everyone in England had equal access to good quality green space.

Green prescribing could include support for walking and cycling groups, green gyms, and practical habitat management conservation tasks such as tree planting.

For more vulnerable groups, it could include supported visits to local green space, activities such as gardening, and other outdoor activities to reduce isolation and loneliness.

Applications will need to:

  • Be led by an Integrated Care System working with partner organisations, including organisations from the environment sector.
  • Provide a clear explanation of how the project will help to address health inequalities and support coronavirus affected populations.
  • Provide evidence of a whole system and partnership approach to project implementation.
  • Demonstrate relevant experience and ability to deliver.

Four sites will be chosen from a range of locations across England which have been the hardest hit by coronavirus, focusing on areas with the greatest need and potential for impact, including to support recovery from coronavirus.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “We know that connecting with nature is good for us, and the pandemic has given us an even greater awareness of the link between our own health, and that of our environment.

“I am delighted to open funding for these trailblazing projects which will test how we can increase use of green social prescribing services to improve the nation’s mental health and reduce demand on our health system.”

PSE Dec/Jan 20-21

PSE Dec.Jan 20

Public services committee: Learning from Covid

Click here to read the Dec/Jan issue of our PSE magazine which looks at the lessons we can learn from Covid, what can be done better but maybe even more importantly, what we discovered during the pandemic that should be carried on even when Coronavirus is defeated. Read our interview with Chair of the Public Services Committee, Baroness Hilary Armstrong as well as invaluable insight from Bristol’s Smart City and Innovation Manager, Freyja Lockwood, on how their smart city plans are revolutionising Bristol.

Videos...

View all videos
Cyber Security

Win a £100 Amazon Voucher

Is the Public Sector safe against a cyber-attack?

Have you got 2 minutes to talk to us about cyber security?

PSE has teamed up with Checkpoint, leaders in cyber-security solutions to assess the state of cyber-security in the public sector. 

We want to educate the sector and equip you with the best protection.

Magazine Feature

Keep communities at the heart of planning

Chris Borg, NALC policy manager

Chris Borg discusses the Planning for the Future white paper and explains the importance of residents and local councils having a say when it comes to planning

More articles...

View all