A Day in the Life of a Social Prescriber

A Day in the Life of a Social Prescriber

Social Prescriber Yasmin with colleague Vince

Social Prescribers Yasmin and Vince

Hello, my name is Yasmin and I am a social prescriber for CVST, based in Harwich.

Not many people know what a Social Prescriber is, and even fewer know what we do day to day. I’d like to share with you a little look into how a day in my job can go to help everyone understand a little bit more about who we help and how.

Firstly, it’s important to mention that my days vary depending on where I am working. Some days I am at my GP surgeries offering support to patients, and I also run My Weight Matters, which is a free 12 week course to help with weight management.

But for the purpose of this blog, I’m giving you a glimpse of just one day…

My Tuesday

I arrived at The Dovercourt & Harwich hub for work. And as it’s a Tuesday, it is my responsibility to check all of the emails that come through to the Social Prescribing Team and send them over to the relevant social prescriber. I check to see what surgery the person is registered with and then forward the email request or referral on.

On a daily basis I check my tasks on our clinical database to see if there is anything urgent to deal with. After a couple of days annual leave I needed to respond to some emails (including one asking me to write this blog).

Whilst I was checking and responding to emails, a gentleman came in to the hub and asked for me. I have been working with this man for some time now, so it is always nice to see him and to see how he is. I went downstairs to reception and greeted him as normal and he started to cry. We went into the small room so that he had some privacy and a safe space for him to be able to talk. The gentleman (I’ll call him N) has recently been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which came as a shock. His mobility has deteriorated and he found it increasingly difficult to walk. N told me he had requested a walking stick but the referral for this can take some time. We also spoke about other things that will make his life easier, such as helping to apply for a blue badge and some support with completing some benefit forms. We had a long conversation about other things that makes him feel good

After N had left, I then contacted Aid In U, which is a small charity in Harwich and they explained they had a walking stick in stock. I drove down to Parkeston to collect this and phoned up N to tell him the good news. He was thrilled.

I then attended my team meeting (however was 25 minutes late due to collecting walking stick, whoops) We spoke collectively as a team about how we can support one another.

After the team meeting, I walked down to N to drop off his walking stick and then returned to the hub to continue going through my emails of referrals.

I then spoke to a lady who explained she is unable to work due to her health and receives £368 a month in benefits. She said she is struggling financially and has given consent to be referred to the GP Care Advisor for a full benefit check. I will also refer her on for a food and fuel voucher.

I received a referral from Adult Social Care for a lady who needs to have a deep clean done. Due to her health conditions, she is unable to keep her property tidy and this is affecting her mental health. I called her up and spoke to her and we arranged for some companies to go in and provide quotes.

A lady called up and asked for some information on transport to hospital on a Sunday. I called her back and she replied that she had arranged something. We then got talking and she was telling me about her life and all the places she has lived and worked – however now she is feeling very lonely. I asked her what her interests are as I could find a suitable group or club. I spoke about the groups and clubs that we have available at CVST and she showed interest. Due to her health concerns, she would only be able to attend as and when. I informed her of the local cancer support group and she said she would like to attend this. She thanked me for my time and for the information and I explained I would call her next week to see how she is.

Another day as a Social Prescriber finished. No two days are the same. Every day is different. But one thing is the same, I have been able to help members of our community.

Volunteering for the Winter Project

Volunteering for the Winter Project

VOLUNTEERING gives me that feel good feeling

My name is Bob and I’ve been volunteering for about 12 years now.

I first started volunteering because once I had retired I had more time on my hands.

After I had moved to Clacton and had settled in I started looking for something to do.

That’s when I found organisations in the area needing help and volunteers.

My main role is IT support on a Friday for CVST, which I really enjoy.

Each year I also usually help at the Victorian Christmas Market in Clacton. The event has stalls raising money for all sorts of causes selling Christmas items. You can do your shopping and raise money for charity at the same time.

But my volunteering work began when I started with Helping Hands, driving for them.

And while I was doing that I got involved with CVST and the IT support.

But then I saw that the Resilience Team at CVST needed volunteers too, so I offered to help.

The project is seasonal and they needed people for events and deliveries etc, which was perfect for me. I had the skills they needed and I was happy to be able to help on the days I was free.

If anyone is thinking about volunteering for the winter project, or any type of volunteering, then I would absolutely recommend it

Volunteering gives me a purpose to get up and go out in the morning.

I enjoy meeting people and I enjoy helping people, which I do now I’m volunteering.

It feels good to go out and help people, especially when I volunteered for the Harwich Winter Warmers.

I drove the van this year and seeing the people who genuinely were overjoyed at getting some help in these difficult times is something special.

The Winter Project offers free winter packs for people in need, as well as advice and support to help them get through the cold months.

Some people were really worried this year about meeting the costs of their bills to heat their homes and buy food.

To see the look on their faces and their thanks for our help is very rewarding.

That’s the best part of volunteering

At Walton I help with IT support, and it’s great to be able to share my skills with people who need a bit of help understanding their phone or getting something on their tablet to work.

It’s just that little bit of support but it can really help them.

CVST has so many activities and groups and ways you can volunteer. Whatever your skills or preference is, there’s likely to be something you can volunteer to help with.

And you’ll have a great time doing it too.

CVST also runs the Tendring part of Volunteer Essex so you can get help finding volunteering for other organisations too.

To me, volunteering is a brilliant use of my time and I’m so pleased I took it up. I enjoy what I do and it brings more to my life for being a part of something like the winter project or IT group or Christmas market.




My journey back into work after 30 years

My journey back into work after 30 years

From not leaving the house to having a job I LOVE

My journey back to work after 30 years has been incredible, with just a couple of years ago I wasn’t able to go out of my front door, not even to cut the grass – and I love gardening.

But thanks to CVST, the staff, trustees and volunteers, now I have a job I love and I’m even driving again for the first time in 30 years.

And it all started with joining the Craft Group at the Dovercourt and Harwich Hub.

My friend asked me to come along but I was really shy and had no confidence.

On the first day I couldn’t even walk through the door. But I went along and started making some friends.

I joined the Beat the Street Game and Street Tag, which got me more active and I became a volunteer, which I was so proud of.

At first, I wasn’t sure about it, but it was lovely helping people.

We would have events like Pink Day and the Jubilee and I would get up the front and dress up and they all loved it. I had such great fun.

Then one day Becky, CVST’s physical activity co-ordinator, said there was a job going as a community connector and said I should apply.

I really wasn’t sure if I could do it.

But with Becky’s support I applied and I had the interview and I got the job! I couldn’t believe it.

There were a couple of times in the beginning where I didn’t think I was good enough. And I nearly gave it all up a couple times.

But I listened to Becky’s advice and encouragement and I carried on.

And I’m so glad I carried on because I absolutely love my job and I love what I do.

I still can’t believe what I’m doing – it’s brilliant.

I run walking groups and help people to join clubs and get their confidence.

I have an Essex Pedal Power bike now and I offer sessions to get people more confident riding again.

It’s just so nice to see people how I used to be, well I was worse, and see them get out there and get confident and enjoy themselves.

  • Shirley’s role as a physical activity volunteer and community connector is funded by Active Essex’s Local Delivery Pilot.
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