Healthy Communities and Social Prescribing

Social Perscribing

Building Connections and Capacity

VONNE is the lead body for the North East and North Cumbria ICB’s Healthy Communities and Social Prescribing Workstream, managing the delivery plan for this funding. Our Infrastructure Investment Programme is supporting place-based investment in VCSE infrastructure to facilitate better connections, collaboration and delivery in terms of social prescribing. 

This work is overseen by a Steering Group of key partners, co-chaired by Dr Guy Pilkington, Chair of the NENC Prevention Advisory Group, and Richard Boggie, VONNE’s Health Partnerships Strategic Manager. The Steering Group includes partners from the NHS, Public Health, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and the VCSE sector. 

Collaboration, sharing and learning will be key to the programme’s success. VONNE brings together local delivery partners at our six-monthly Stakeholder Group. 

Investing In Communities

Funding managed through this Infrastructure Investment Programme is helping to build capacity for social prescribing in our region.  Here are some examples of the fantastic work being undertaken in Hartlepool, Darlington and Gateshead:

Forty Years of Working in the Arts at Grass Roots: Helix Arts

Last year, Helix Arts celebrated their fortieth year of collaborating and connecting with local communities in North Tyneside and the North East.  The Arts charity supports community members and artists to work together to bring about meaningful changes to their wellbeing; tackling complex health inequalities.  Their work takes place in community centres, care homes, hospitals, parks, prisons and streets, with a commitment to working with those who are often forgotten, vulnerable and facing adverse circumstances.

VONNE are proud to support Helix Arts through the Healthy Communities and Social Prescribing Infrastructure Investment Programme.  Funded by the North East and North Cumbria ICB, this programme supports thirteen organisations to improve the social prescribing offer in their localities. 

A photo of a boy in a community setting, holding his artwork proudly up to the camera.

Darlington – connecting marginalised communities to support services

Darlington Connect is open to anyone who needs any kind of help. Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Anne-Marie Curry officially opened the doors in April and the facility has already assisted almost 400 people. Its purpose is to connect people to the help they need, and facilitate joined-up, coordinated, access to the many excellent services and support agencies that exist across the town, whether through the voluntary and community sector, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust or Darlington Borough Council.

However, the project is more than a sign-posting agency, it is a multi-agency network in which experienced support workers will help people access the right help, at the right place, at the point where it is needed. The investment funding will help Darlington Connect to support Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) in developing an outreach service. This service will enable disabled people and carers, who might not be able to use the town centre site, to access the support on offer.

Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Anne-Marie Curry and the Darlington Connect team officially opening the building

Keep up-to-date with programme news

You can sign-up to receive our Healthy Communities and Social Prescribing Network bulletin which periodically shares information about the programme, resources, events and learning opportunities as well as wider social prescribing news and developments. If you're a social prescribing lead within the NHS, Local Authorities and the VCSE sector across the North East and North Cumbria, join our mailing list.