Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust is celebrating after being awarded £50k from the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP)’s Thriving Communities Fund to support its work. The project will increase social connectedness and help local communities to cope with the impact of COVID-19, as part of a national initiative to embed social prescribing in communities and healthcare.
Over 200 applications were received and just 37 projects were selected by NASP across England to receive funding from The Thriving Community programme – a unique partnership between NASP, Arts Council England, Historic England, Natural England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, the Money & Pensions Service and NHS Charities Together. Their collective aim is to strengthen the range of social prescribing activities offered locally, enhance collaboration and networking between local organisations and enable social prescribing link workers to connect people to more creative community activities and services.
The Ross CDT’s project – called CLOVER – aims to increase access to social prescribing activities in the HR9 postcode area, especially for those over 65, the rurally isolated and carers, in order to improve mental and physical wellbeing. It will run for 14 months between March 2021 and April 2022 and is being coordinated by Ross CDT (lead partner) on behalf of a partnership comprising five core partners.
Jane Roberts, Chair of the Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust commented: “We’re absolutely delighted that The Thriving Communities Fund understands our vision for social prescribing in the community. With intense competition for the funding we are over the moon and we feel this is a huge step for us in achieving what our charity originally set out to do. Now the hard work begins and we very much look forward to working alongside our partners who are all committed professionals and care deeply about the wellbeing of our communities.”
The strong application submitted by the Ross CDT, demonstrated to NASP that this powerful partnership, supported by the Ross Good Neighbours Buddy network, would benefit local communities in far reaching ways, supporting people who have suffered during the global pandemic.
The partnership, involving Herefordshire Council’s Social Prescribing Team, also includes:
Active Herefordshire & Worcestershire – a vibrant, independent organisation focusing on creating a more active and healthier community by enabling a thriving, sustainable environment of physical activity and sport;
Herefordshire Wildlife Trust – with 5,000 members and over 200 volunteers, the charity aims to bring people closer to nature and inspire people of all ages to discover and care for Herefordshire’s wildlife;
Ignite CIC – an arts award supporter, the team works closely with the community, encouraging people to get involved with healthy leisure and creative activities whilst employing highly qualified instructors, coaches and creative practitioners;
Rural Media – a Hereford-based charity producing award-winning films and digital arts projects, working with communities, schools, groups and individuals to create issue-driven films, heritage and digital arts projects that raise awareness, influence change and celebrate rural life.
Other voluntary groups and social enterprises will also be encouraged to engage in Ross CDT’s CLOVER project, creating opportunities for volunteers to get involved and help support the aims of this exciting new partnership. Information about how to get involved in this exciting programme as a volunteer can be found on the Ross CDT website at www.rosscdt.org.uk/volunteer/.
Photo: submitted by Molly Basten in the Ross in Lockdown Photo Competition 2020