by Michelle Heffernan
Would you like to try something new? Meet new people and improve your confidence? Need support but not sure where to go?
The Waterford Social Prescribing Service is a new free support that aims to reduce social isolation and improve people’s health and wellbeing.
It’s well known that social interaction has a positive effect on health and wellbeing. On the other hand isolation and loneliness are harmful to physical and mental health. When we are experiencing isolation, whatever the reason, all of us need support to make contact with people and get involved in activities we enjoy. Social prescribing can offer the support that’s needed at such times. Waterford in Your Pocket speaks to Cecily Maher, head of the new Waterford Social Prescribing Service, about this fantastic new resource available to you to meet new people and try new activities
- Hi Cecily! Can you tell us, what is Waterford Social Prescribing Service?
This new service for Waterford offers individuals a social prescription to link them into supports within the community to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. This could be for example exercise classes, mental health supports, educational courses, employment services or volunteering.
- Who is Waterford Social Prescribing Service for?
The service is free of charge and is for anyone over 18, who live in the Waterford Metropolitan Area that is the City, Tramore, Dunmore East and Passage East. Participants must be registered to a GP and be able to travel to meet with myself in one of four locations in the City or Tramore.
- What happens when someone is referred or contacts the service?
I arrange an appointment for us to meet and we talk about what the person’s interests are, I let them know what’s available locally and we make a plan for the activities/services they would like to try. I support the person so that they don’t feel on their own taking those first steps towards starting something new and making a change in their lives.
- What kind of activities or groups have people become involved in through WSPS?
People have taken up yoga, mindfulness, knitting, art, and joined choirs. They have started computer classes, language courses, horticultural sessions and volunteering in charity shops. Others have accessed counselling support, financial services and housing advice. There are so many fantastic services available to the community in Waterford however sometimes people are unsure where or how to start, I hope the Social Prescribing Service can support them with this.
- How can someone book an appointment with WSPS?
They can contact me on 0892501413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Waterford Social Prescribing Service is funded by Healthy Ireland and hosted by the Sacred Heart Family Resource Centre