A new service in Portsmouth is helping people to find new ways of improving their sense of wellbeing – from booking Tai Chi classes, to helping people restore routine into their daily lives.

The city’s new ‘social prescribing’ service has helped people suffering from isolation, anxiety, employment worries and bereavement, putting them in touch with non-medical support which can help them to feel better.

Social Prescribing Portsmouth first opened its doors in November 2018, and since then has helped more than 100 people.

Ellenor Gray, Manager at The YOU Trust which runs the service said: “This is just the beginning. Since opening only a few months ago, we have helped a growing number of people. We meet every person as an individual and work with them to identify how their personal situation could be improved.

“Portsmouth has an amazing variety of formal services and informal community groups that are all beneficial to our day to day lives to keep us well.

“Social prescribing plays a vital role in supporting people to take the first step, and we are really pleased to be able to work alongside the local NHS to provide a simple link to the array of ever changing community support”.

Linda Collie, Clinical Lead at Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group said: “A person’s physical and emotional health can often be hugely affected by non-medical issues. As GPs, we do everything we can to help people to be as healthy as possible, but sometimes we can’t give our patients everything they need.

 “Emotional and social wellbeing is extremely important, and having this local social prescribing service is invaluable because it means we can refer patients to ensure they are supported with their non-medical needs”.

Social Prescribing is based in the Portsmouth Central Library, and is part of the HIVE.

The HIVE is a collective of organisations working together and supports people to address the many social factors that affect their health and wellbeing.