Charities join forces to help vulnerable people

The Steve Morgan Foundation is partnering with Cheshire Community Foundation to deliver a new initiative aimed at helping disadvantaged people in the Crewe area.

The Positive Steps Social Prescribing Grants Programme has already begun to make a difference to projects working with isolated and vulnerable individuals, many of whom suffer from mental health issues.

Social prescribing enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical voluntary sector services.

Ten community projects across Crewe and the surrounding area have received grants from the new programme.

The first projects to benefit from the programme are:

  • Motherwell Cheshire – to support younger girls with their mental health and wellbeing by funding a wellbeing coordinator;
  • Edge Inclusion Partners – funding will pay for staff to provide a range of fun workshops for children with special educational needs and disabilities;
  • What’s Happening on North Street – funding to extend a range of health improvement services aimed at people with mild mental and/or physical health conditions;
  • Family Ties – to enable three new groups to benefit from the organisation’s parent/child attachment play and Heart to Heart projects aimed at improving emotional health and wellbeing;
  • Samaritans of South Cheshire – the funding will enable the charity to upgrade its IT and provide a better working environment for volunteers and improve training facilities;
  • Healthbox – the grant will pay for yoga teachers, public health nutritionist and other requirements to deliver a 10-week evidence-based Yoga4Health programme to improve patients’ physical and psychological wellbeing;
  • Wishing Well Projects – the funding will allow the charity to deliver more services, develop staff and recruit new volunteers to help improve the lives of vulnerable people in South Cheshire;
  • Pennysmart – funding to help deliver a programme aimed at supporting a minimum of 30 families or individuals in dealing with their debt problems including paying for a referrals telephone-based specialist money and casework service;
  • Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union – CNCU’s budgeting accounts calculate annual and weekly expenditure to set aside members’ income to meet their bills and pay on-time. Funding will cover the administrative costs on these accounts;
  • Survive – Funding to support a project aimed at giving abused people an experience of art in a safe environment. The grant will help purchase art materials, pay for room hire, pay for an artist to run the group and a counsellor to facilitate.

Steve Morgan said:

“This programme recognises that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors.

“Social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way and supports individuals to take greater control of their own health.

“Research by the Mental Health Foundation discovered that 78% of GPs had prescribed an antidepressant in the previous three years.

“However, the use of non-medical interventions has been shown to have powerful emotional, cognitive and social benefits.”

Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation, which is managing the programme on behalf of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Steve Morgan to deliver this vitally important and ground-breaking programme of support.

“The programme will strengthen the capacity of charitable and voluntary sector organisations to deliver a range of project activities in Crewe and the surrounding area, helping service users referred to them from healthcare professionals.”