Voluntary Action Camden

Social prescribing: GUIDE FOR RESIDENTS

VAC works in partnership with the North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group to develop social prescribing approaches in Camden

Around 2013 we began introducing volunteer health advocates into GP waiting rooms, promoting community groups and referring patients to local voluntary organisations and social opportunities that would be beneficial to health and wellbeing.

More recently we joined forces with Age UK Camden to help deliver the Care Navigation and Social Prescribing Service. This led to Community Links, a new service that connects local people with health and wellbeing-based groups and activities in the community.


How the service works

If you are aged 18 or over and live in Camden and are in need of support, we can help connect you to activities, services and other opportunities for improving your health and wellbeing. 

The Care Navigation and Social Prescribing Service aims to prevent ill health, improve health and wellbeing, and improve how your care is coordinated to help you remain independent, particularly if you are living with long-term, debilitating health conditions.


What we need from you

Tell us what is important to you and your health and wellbeing

Tell us the type of services and activities that would ideally suit you. These could include:

  • Social activities including exercise and fitness sessions
  • Opportunities to volunteer
  • Information about education, training and employment support
  • Finding and joining a support group
  • Sourcing practical help in benefits advice, transport and other tasks you need to function well in society
  • Support from a Community Links volunteer to learn more about opportunities in your neighbourhood
  • Support from a Care Navigator to manage your health and care

How social prescribing works and why we do it

  •  A slide deck from VAC explaining how the social prescribing service works in Camden
  • The report on the response of the Care Navigation and Social Prescribing Service to the Covid-19 Emergency and how it responded and changed back in March 2020
  • A recent blog about our experiences of social prescribing during the pandemic
  • A recent blog for Healthwatch Camden about our experiences locally and the impact of Covid-19
  • A blog for London Plus about the origins of social prescribing in Camden
  • Another blog for London Plus about the way social prescribing changed during the pandemic and tips on making the partnership work

What is social prescribing?

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing, also sometimes known as community referral, is a means of enabling health professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. There is a growing body of evidence that social prescribing can lead to a range of positive health and wellbeing outcomes.


The service is an ‘open’ social prescribing model for Camden residents over 18, and receives referrals from GPs, hospitals, social workers, mental health services, and many other local health and care services. Residents can also self-refer.


VAC recruits and trains Community Links Volunteers to work with local GP practices promoting community based health and well-being services.


A network to bring together all the groups and organisations involved in Social Prescribing in Camden to learn, share ideas and challenges.


If you would like help or would like to know more about our contribution to social prescribing in Camden, please contact Donna Turnbull at dturnbull@vac.org.uk.