Dudley CVS commission Riverside Stourbridge CIC to deliver new outdoor social prescribing activities

Riverside House is a beautiful and ecologically diverse site in Stourbridge which runs alongside Stourbridge canal. Riverside House is in the process of transforming the 19th century ironworks area into a heritage centre with gardens, a restaurant, crafts shop, woodland and workshops but also a place where people feel included and bespoke opportunities are provided.

Much of this work is now well underway. Our capacity building team at Dudley CVS initially helped Riverside Stourbridge to get set up as a CIC, supported them with planning, building their vision and securing funding and it is fantastic to see the progress being made. The project works with a wide range of individuals from diverse backgrounds and supports them to learn new practical skills through the conservation and preservation of the estate.

In the winter of 2020, Clare and Lloyd at Riverside Stourbridge CIC applied for funding from our voluntary sector social prescribing fund. The fund makes it possible for new activities and services to be set up and delivered to meet the needs of our Integrated Plus High Intensity User social prescribing clients, who frequently attend A&E or call 999. Their application was successful and they’re now delivering three different workshops including copper & willow weaving, blacksmithing and green woodwork.

Ami is a client accessing the High Intensity User social prescribing service, after hearing about the workshops she was keen to try blacksmithing as she enjoys being outdoors and learning new skills. Ami attended the six week course and thoroughly enjoyed every session, she showed her Link Worker how she had made a plaque for her home to hang her keys on and how she has personalised it. Ami was able to recognise within herself how the workshop had built her confidence and helped her overcome her fear of new places.

“I attended the Blacksmithing course at the Riverside House Project and I loved it! Not only did I get expert and friendly tuition in a totally new skill I had never tried before, but the guys shared their vision and dreams for the Riverside House site during the sessions and got me excited for the future of the project. All the volunteers and leaders were friendly and welcoming, always encouraging and helped me feel confident in something I had never done before! Looking forward to joining with more projects and seeing the way the RHP develops and expands in the coming years.” Ami

To find out more about the other fantastic work that Riverside Stourbridge CIC deliver, click here.

To find out more about our voluntary sector social prescribing fund please email keeley@dudleycvs.org.uk

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Carving spoons at a green woodwork session
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Making copper bowls

Integrated Plus share excellent outcomes from year 6 of social prescribing delivery in Dudley

The Integrated Plus social prescribing service is now into its 7th year with an experienced team continuing to provide 1-2-1 social prescribing support to vulnerable patients in the Dudley Borough aged 16 and over. The team continue to provide a valuable link to the voluntary and community sector and champion the non-clinical and social needs of patients within their GP lead multidisciplinary team meetings.

Dudley CVS are delighted to have witnessed the momentum that social prescribing is gaining. We’re proud to have been part of helping to gather valuable evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of social prescribing interventions and to have contributed towards the roll out of social prescribing roles nationally.

Our annual evaluation report for year 6 shows that support provided by the service is continuing to result in significant reductions in A&E attendances and inpatient admissions, generating strong cost avoidance figures:

  • 731 patients accepted the service
  • Inpatient admissions reduced by 45% after 12 months – cost avoidance of £450,500
  • Attendances at A&E reduced by 32% after 12 months – cost avoidance of £22,885
  • Total cost avoidance of £473,385 resulting in a net saving to the borough of £28.30 per patient

More importantly, the support continues to result in positive social outcomes for patients. After receiving support the following reductions were made in the number of patients “not managing:”

  • Finance, 87% less patients
  • Physical Health, 91% less patients
  • Mental Health, 83% less patients
  • Social Contact, 88% less patients
  • Housing, 80% less patients
  • Safety, 83% less patients
  • Learning, 88% less patients

For more information about the service, including patient stories and reflections from members of the team, you can read the full report here:

Integrated Plus delivers a successful peer learning programme for staff delivering social prescribing schemes around the East and West Midlands

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During January – April 2019, Dudley CVS’s Integrated Plus service delivered a social prescribing peer learning programme for link workers around the country. The programme enabled existing link workers from across the East and West Midlands to connect with each other, share learning, successes, challenges and access training in areas such as motivational interviewing, mentoring and solution focused therapy.

25 staff from 9 organisations delivering social prescribing projects around the country attended the 10 day programme delivered over 3 months.

Participants shared that they had learnt:

  • More about what social prescribing is
  • Each other’s social prescribing models
  • Different approaches to supporting people
  • New techniques and coping strategies when working with vulnerable people

“Brilliant, invaluable, interesting and overall a fantastic and worthwhile training package” (participant who attended the programme)

“Spending time offering each other peer support has been incredibly invaluable” (participant who attended the programme)

For more information about the Integrated Plus service, please contact Kate Green on 01384 573381.

For National information and updates on social prescribing visit: https://www.socialprescribingnetwork.com/