The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) has been awarded £5 million in funding to support people to stay connected and maintain their health and wellbeing following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working with partners, including the Arts Council England, Natural England, Money and Pensions Service, NHS Charities Together, Sport England and NHS England, the academy will support a range of local community activities.
The funding will connect people to initiatives in their local communities to improve their mental health and wellbeing in response to the impact of COVID-19, including improved green spaces, singing and physical activities as well as access to tailored debt advice.
The academy is working with organisations to develop projects including:
- football: Newcastle United Foundation ‘Be a Game Changer’ programme and ‘12th Man’ programme which work to support men with mental health issues
- Art by Post: created under lockdown, the Southbank Centre sends free creative activity booklets to people across the UK who are living with dementia and other chronic health conditions
- improved green spaces: link workers refer and connect people to their local wildlife and wider activities including food growing, healthy cooking, wildlife gardening, environmental art and crafts, music workshops, and beekeeping
- singing: English National Opera (ENO) have partnered with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to devise an integrated 6-week pilot programme of singing, breathing and wellbeing aimed at supporting and enhancing the recovery of COVID-19 survivors
- money advice – the Money and Pensions Service and Mental Health UK have created a Money Support Pack for people who need support with their mental health as a result of COVID-19
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