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Social Prescriptions

'Social Prescribing, sometimes referred to as a Community referral, is a means of enabling, GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services'

Below is a poem I have written to try and express one idea of a Social Prescription, what would yours be?

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First week, first workshop!

Last Friday saw the completion of my first full week at Volunteer Cornwall which has been most enjoyable and yesterday was the first workshop session as part of the Transform Ageing Programme that I am managing.  

The event was well attended by participants with representation from health and social care, people in later life, social entrepreneurs and people from a host of support networks.  It was very well facilitated and expertly co-produced by the Design Council and took place at the Pool Innovation Centre in Redruth.  

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Let's Talk Ageing

Alongside the Design Council, UnLtd, South West Academic Science Health Network & the Centre for Ageing Better - Volunteer Cornwall hosted the Cornish launch of the Big Lottery funded 'Transform Ageing' programme. I was acting as Master of Ceremonies for the day and introduced the audience to the three F's - Find out more about Transform Ageing; Feedback - tell us what you think and then we'll reward you with a Feast!

I suppose I should start by explaining that Transform Ageing takes a design-led approach to improving people's experience of Ageing. It brings together people in later life, social entrepreneurs and health and care leaders to define, develop and deliver new solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of our ageing communities.

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Pioneers of the West

Living Well Penwith Practitioner Meeting (LWPPM). It was my first meeting, it was scheduled to be 3 hours long and I have to admit I was expecting something quite dry and formal from the title! I couldn't have been more wrong. So what was the meeting about, and more importantly what was it for? Before I answer that I need to scroll back to the word practitioner. Practitioner in this context means organisations with a role in peoples health & wellbeing in West Penwith, encompassing everyone from PCSOs (Police and Community Support Officers) to GPs. So, why were all these practitioners meeting? With the very simple remit of considering how we can all work better together to improve the help and support for people in West Penwith. Ok, I hear you say, sounds good but does it deliver? Well, yes is the short answer, one example being Bloom (see 'In Bloom') an approach pioneered in the West and now being rolled out across the County. 

Aside from this example, LWPPM doesn't just deliver, it turns out it's a pioneering approach. We were updated about the 'Primary Care Home' and MCPs (Multi Speciality Clinical Provider Networks) - the new way of working in Primary Care, which, you've guessed it, is the way West Penwith is already working together via the LWPPM.

The upshot, if Volunteer Cornwall can work collaboratively with the LWPPM to improve the help and support for people in West Penwith, count me in and see you at the next meeting.

Welcome Home (Home from Hospital scheme)

I have been a co-ordinator with the project for nine months and the time has passed in an instant. We are rapidly heading towards 450 referrals and in partnership with the Red Cross we are managing to keep pace.

With an older retired community in Cornwall the average age of the service users is in their eighties. There is no such thing as a typical Welcome Home referral. I have been talking to new volunteers about the scheme and the only way I can prepare them for a visit is to say expect a wide range of scenarios when you walk through the door. No two visits will be the same.

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