Working closely with a number of GPs in Blackpool, Social Enterprise Solutions has been providing a social prescribing Community Navigator in surgeries since 2016.
Put simply, the Navigator’s role is to listen to people whose social problems are impacting on their physical and mental wellbeing. Then we try to find ways to help that person take control of the issues most affecting them and do something about it. Sometimes that’s further support from charities and social enterprises, or help from the council, housing associations or the NHS.
Social prescribing now forms part of the NHS Long Term Plan and exciting times lie ahead as the community gets more involved in helping each other with healthcare.
“I had the symptoms of mental health problems and was not in a good place. I’d had owned my own business but was out of work and it was hard trying to find work. I was sending off a lot of CVs and had no money – I was at my wits end.
I had been to see the doctor and he said there’s someone I want you to talk to as I think it will benefit you. I went to see the woman who the GP had suggested and just told her everything about how I was feeling and what my problems were.
Very quickly, she made me realise that I wasn’t the only person who was feeling like this and she empathised with everything I said.
She was dead honest and straight forward and made me feel normal. That was a few months ago and now I’ve got a job in the public sector and I’m getting my life back on track.
The woman I met that day saved my life.“
Abridged conversation with a Blackpool woman, aged 46, who had one 30 minute chat to a Community Navigator.