Social prescribing is set to reform Leicester as Oadby community activities expand

By Zarina Ahmed

A programme of linking people to social activities in their community such as group walks has arrived in Oadby to better the mutual well-being of the community.

Known as social prescribing, the Active Oadby and Wigston scheme will support various events with a focus on the social needs of people, connecting them to community services.

Getting together: people gather for one of the community events

Ross Levy, Community Health and Improvement Officer, said: “The programme is already suggesting a great success.

“We provide opportunities, allow the ability to work with other social prescribing agencies, and let people socialise in an active and sustainable way.”

The programme is made up of different activities, such as group walks, tennis events for those with disabilities, football, gardening and more.

Most programmes are entirely free, and are held across different times to ensure a wide availability for people to join in.

The newer events started three weeks ago, meaning not only are they are accessible in terms of price and times, but they also allow people to join in at different times.

Mr Levy said the scheme could also be very useful to help students who move to the city to study to become more aware of wider community activities.

He said: “To step outside the student bubble can be overwhelming, and you’re often detached from the community.

Getting outdoors: one of the walking groups

“Most students might not be aware of social prescribing, so this allows them to join in, to understand it, and to be part of it which could go on to improve their links to the community as well as their own well-being.”

Active Oadby and Wigston has welcomed many participants over the recent year after the coronavirus lockdown and, as a result, he said social prescribing within this community scheme has become a positive event to look forward to.

“Social isolation substantially increased, challenging our programme but our programme improves mental well-being because it’s important,” Mr Levy added.

The group walks, one of the most popular events, commence from 10am on Tuesdays, while a newer scheme, Let’s Grow, begins at 1pm on Thursdays.

For more details about the Active Oadby and Wigston project, visit the Our Programmes section on its website

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