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Social prescribing project pauses as it hopes for funding to continue its work

SA Updated
Social prescribing project pauses as it hopes for funding to continue its work

Not-for-profit organisation South Hams Area Wellbeing has had to pause its operations while it waits to see if it can secure long-term funding to continue its work. 

South Hams Area Wellbeing, known as SHAW, is a "not-for-profit organisation that aims to help enable and educate local individuals to be resilient in their own wellbeing". 

Director Amanda Bloomer explained that their current Community Builder, Helen Hamilton, has stepped down. Helen had come into the role a few weeks before the pandemic turned everything upside down and had had to "adapt the role" to something that would work under Covid restrictions. 

Amanda said: "Helen has been phenomenal, in almost her first week in the job to have the rug completely pulled from under her and she managed to adapt the role under hugely difficult circumstances."

SHAW's plan was for the role of Community Builder to revert back to the original plan after the pandemic, but as we are starting to see the end to the Covid restrictions, the timing is such that they have been unable to secure long-term finding for a full time employee. 

This means that the decision has been made to freeze SHAW's operational activities until sustainable long-term funding is secured. SHAW has always been able to secure short-term funding for projects and initiatives, such as the free wellbeing course at Slapton (see HERE) which will be able to go ahead as planned. 

Amanda continued: "We don't want to offer a position to someone for just three months, with no security for the future, so we are waiting to see if we can secure long-term funding before reigniting everything and really pushing to continue Helen's legacy. We should know in the next two to three months if we can secure funding for the next five years. 

"What we have definitely done is prove social prescribing as a principle works. Our two original community outreach officer, Catherine and Claire, were absorbed into mainstream social care after a short period of time, getting direct funding, something that just proves that what we do is important and makes a real difference. 

"Our healthcare system and our population is not served with prescriptions and pills for problems such as loneliness and isolation. We need to think of another way and that is what SHAW is doing, and it works! With the pandemic there have been other priorities, and we appreciate that, but we really hope we can secure this long-term funding."

Amanda said herself and her team at SHAW are "delighted and grateful" to Helen for her work and wish her all the best in the future. 


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