"Social Prescribing has been a challenge over the last year but the service has become innovative and responded to this challenge. Initially we were linking clients directly into activities, groups and services but since Covid19 we have had to adapt and become the activity itself. This has included setting up online fitness classes, flower arranging, tapping therapy relaxation, coffee mornings, outdoor walking groups among others. This has allowed our clients to stay connected and feel part of a group in the interim of face-to-face’. We continue to link where possible, clients into education, training, employment etc. therefore many clients action plans have not be stalled by Covid19 but have continued to progress. For a lot of our older clients we are linking them into the Alone Befriending service and for those with Chronic illnesses the HSE Living Well Programme has been a great source of support for people. The service has been a huge support to our clients overall health and well-being throughout a very challenging year" (Fiona Laffan, Waterford County Social Prescribing Coordinator).
"During the COVID 19 lockdown I adhere strictly to the government recommendations and do not leave the house except for short walks in the immediate location of home. This was difficult as I like to take a walk of around 2 Km. ....Despite all my efforts to pass the time there were spells of stress and tension and this is where you came in (Deirdre Ruane, Social Prescribing Coordinator, South Dublin County Partnership) with your meditation sessions, I looked forward to making contact on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when we discussed the situation and it’s effect on me, you listened attentively and suggested many ways to cope, your soothing voice put me at ease and the meditations helped me to relax and accept the situation as it is. Thank you once more Deirdre, I look forward to continuing making regular contact and hopefully in the not too distant future we can meet up again for a walk and a coffee together. Meanwhile, take care and stay safe. We need you" (Terry, Service user of South Dublin County Partnership Social Prescribing project)
“The weekly visit on Zoom on fridays was a god send at the time and the wellness talks were of great benefit. I looked forward to them each week. The virtual walk each week was excellent and allowed us to imagine ourselves walking in different counties from Tramore, Waterford to Clonakilty in Cork. This really was a great experience and very important to the whole group” (Frank, Service user of South Dublin County Partnership Social Prescribing project).
"Thank you for all your fantastic work with client/s referred. You have opened doors for him in his local community and given him the helping hand he needs to make relevant connections and move forward. You have put a realistic plan in place with him to see his way forward to socially engage, learn more and work in his community. I honestly believe Social Prescribing is providing a wonderful, badly needed service, particularly in these difficult times, to help isolated people to connect and expand their world and improve their mental wellbeing" (HSE Counsellor).