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The positive impact of Social Prescribing  | Kate's Story

Published on 16 May 2024 05:43 PM

Social Prescribing bringing Services Together.

Kate's Story

Kate, a patient from West Cornwall, was referred to Anne (Social Prescribing Link Worker, Age UK Cornwall) by her local GP Surgery. Kate suffered from high anxiety, poor wellbeing and depression.

Anne had a detailed chat with Kate, who felt that her anxiety stemmed from feeling overwhelmed due to her son, Sam, being mentally and physically bullied by the Neighbour's children. Sam is on the autistic spectrum and is not able to protect himself - Kate also felt unable to protect Sam, especially when he was away from the house. 

Kate had done all the right things – and discussed this with her housing association landlord, the local police, the school, his youth worker, and social services, but she felt that they all bounced her around the system and that no one was listening to her needs. Meanwhile, Sam's exposure to being bullied had increased significantly; he was bullied in school, at the club he went to, in the street, and now also from the Neighbour's garden - the fence bordering the neighbours became damaged by a tree falling in recent high winds.


Finding a way forward together

Sadly, Sam's life became isolated to school and his bedroom, which made his mental health decline, further impacting Kate's mental wellbeing. Kate felt the only way she could sufficiently protect her son and make life better for her family was to move, but Home Choice deemed her adequately housed and could not increase her banding.

In previous roles, Anne had been involved in many multi-disciplinary meetings (MDTs) and ran the idea of an MDT past Kate and her GP. They both agreed that this could be a positive way forward.

Anne set up an MDT on Teams, discussing who to invite with Kate - inviting the school, local police, victim support, the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour unit, Kate and Sam’s doctor, her landlord and a youth worker from Sam’s club. Everyone attended, and Anne chaired the meeting.

During the meeting, everybody explained how they could better support and protect Sam, providing an overview of the barriers so that all services could work together cohesively and find the right solutions. Most importantly, Kate felt confident to explain her situation, how it impacted her family, and how she felt unsupported. Kate was empowered to speak up, as she knew that the right people were in attendance to listen, she was heard.  

Kate’s family, particularly Sam, became the central focus of the meeting. All agreed a move was in the family's interests, and each professional wrote supporting letters to Home Choice.


Wonderful News

We only needed 2 MDTs to move things forward, the 3rd MDT was cancelled as Anne received the following news:

“We have been offered a four-bedroom new build, far away on the other side of town. The family are over the moon, New Year, and a new house. We will be free from all the abuse from the neighbours, and the kids will be able to play safely. 

Sam even gets his own space and own room. It's everything I could have wished for.

All of this couldn't have happened without your help and support. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your time and effort in helping and supporting us. It’s going to change our lives so much”

Social Prescribing

Age UK Cornwall is extremely proud to be part of the Social Prescribing Network, and our Social Prescribers play an important role within local communities, postively impacting emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing throughout Cornwall. *Social Prescribing is an approach that connects people to activities, groups, and services in their community to meet the practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing.