Bury Social Prescribing Service
VCFA Beacon Service

What is it?

VCFA Beacon social prescribing service helps patients access support and help in the local Voluntary Community and Faith Sector (VCSE) that can help them improve their health and wellbeing. It is independent and not part of the NHS, however we work in partnership with our local NHS especially the GP surgeries and Primary Care Networks. The term ‘social prescribing’ is used to describe a service which supports people to access a range of non-medical services and activities in their local area

What we do

Our Social Prescribing Service, helps improve an individual’s wellbeing by connecting them to support through VCSE organisations. Secondly our comprehensive volunteering service also provides numerous opportunities to get involved in your community, make friends and learn new skills. With access to over 500 VCSE organisations in Bury we can offer a wide range of activities including social events, mental health support and physical. Our aim is to address support social, economic and environmental factors affecting people’s health, where medication alone is unlikely to provide a sustainable improvement

What we do

Our Social Prescribing Service, helps improve an individual’s wellbeing by connecting them to support through VCSE organisations. Secondly our comprehensive volunteering service also provides numerous opportunities to get involved in your community, make friends and learn new skills. With access to over 500 VCSE organisations in Bury we can offer a wide range of activities including social events, mental health support and physical. Our aim is to address support social, economic and environmental factors affecting people’s health, where medication alone is unlikely to provide a sustainable improvement

What does this Involve?

Once we receive a referral they will be assigned to one of our Link Workers who will make an initial telephone call to discuss any support needs and interests. They will then work with them to develop a wellbeing plan based on what matters to the individual. As part of this plan, they will support them to identify community groups and activities which meet their interests and can support them to link with these groups.

We recognise attending a new activity can be daunting. We work flexibly and if needed can offer multiple appointments to support and explore any barriers to attendance, such as anxiety, and formulate a plan to reduce this.

Once they have engaged with an organisation we will review if this has been beneficial and consider if there is any further support we can offer.

In supporting individuals to access community groups we hope to:

Connect

Connect you with new friends so you feel less isolated.

Improve

Improve your mental wellbeing

Increase

Increase your physical activity

Control

Put you in control of your own health and wellbeing

Who We Support

We support people who are:

  • Aged 18+
  • Registered with a Bury GP
  • Is a Bury Resident
  • Willing to engage with the programme and be supported

This service is voluntary and if a patient is not ready to be supported we may not be able to accept the referral

Our Service

  • Access to over 500 VCSE groups on our database
  • 100’s of Volunteering Opportunities
  • 1000’s of community based activities e.g.
    • Social Clubs e.g. Lunch
    • Leisure activities – e.g. walking, gardening
    • Arts, culture and creative activities
    • Befriending and support groups.
    • Welfare benefits and financial support
    • Emotional wellbeing

Please note Beacon does not provide any direct services in house we signpost to support via the VCSE sector

Areas of Support

  • Clear navigation and simple access
  • Wide range of support services in the VCSE.
  • greater control of their own health
  • Improve in mental health and wellbeing
  • Involvement in the community
  • Learn new skill or participate in a new activity
  • Increase self- confidence and self esteem
  • Better quality of life

Who we can help/Reasons for Referrals

Here examples of issues that we may be able to help with.

  • Low Self-esteem/Confidence
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Life events e.g. bereavement,
  • Long term health conditions
  • Anxiety due to issues such as housing Finance, work or relationships

To refer please fill in our referral form and email this to beaconservice@buryvcfa.org.uk please also note GPs can refer via Vision.

Social prescribing during post COVID

We are offering services remotely, on line and by phone. For more information, please contact Bury VCFA Beacon Service by calling 0161 518 5550 or you can email us at beaconservice@buryvcfa.org.uk

Beacon Service Impact

The social prescribing team found that 80% of referrals found themselves visiting their GP and/or the Hospital less frequently after speaking to a social prescribing link worker.

90% of people that speaking to a link worker had a positive impact on their lives  and 80% of referrals now felt more optimistic about the future.

The Impact on the Person

Feels more in control and able to manage their own health and wellbeing
Is more physically active
Is better able to manage practical issues, such as debt, housing and mobility
Is more connected to others and less isolated or less lonely

The Impact on the Person

Feels more in control and able to manage their own health and wellbeing
Is more physically active
Is better able to manage practical issues, such as debt, housing and mobility
Is more connected to others and less isolated or less lonely

The Impact on the Community

More volunteers engaged in Social Prescribing
More VCF groups involved in Social Prescribing
Funding secured to build capacity and/or sustainability

Tips and Techniques for Staying Safe against Scammers

Following a number of people talking and asking about scams our Prestwich link worker worked with retired Bury Police Inspector Russ Magnall who has put together a video with tips and techniques for staying safe from scams

Tips and Techniques for Staying Safe against Scammers

Following a number of people talking and asking about scams our Prestwich link worker worked with retired Bury Police Inspector Russ Magnall who has put together a video with tips and techniques for staying safe from scams

Rebecca is an essential and valued member of our MDT, and over the last 7 months we have all really grown to appreciate just how much Radcliffe needs social prescribers like them. The VCFA attend all our meetings and provide a crucial role in developing our person-centred approach, working jointly with other services to make difference to people’s lives – whether through volunteering, employment or simply being there for them. The work they have done so far has been fantastic. Thanks!”

JamesBury West/Radcliffe

Having something to help and support you when you don’t know where to start looking is great

Service User

Thank you for connecting me with supporting sisters. I’m loving chatting on the phone and messaging people. I’m joining a zoom meeting next week and it makes me feel so happy

Service User

For more information, please contact the Beacon Service by calling 0161 518 5550 or you can email us at beaconservice@buryvcfa.org.uk