Lianna Martin: Lianna works at the Bromley by Bow Centre, one of the pioneers of social prescribing. For over 17 years she has worked alongside and within the voluntary and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in London. In that time she has been involved in workforce development; helped develop and design services and impact measurement; contributed to building capacity of grassroots community organisations and co-produced governance structures; and, always put users and frontline workers of the services front and centre. Passionate about the opportunities social prescribing offers to ensure primary care can move toward a preventative model, Lianna sees Social Prescribing as an effective mechanism for addressing health inequalities and to building a culture of personalised care.
Sarah Gorman: Sarah has worked in the voluntary and community sector for 30 years, initially developing supported housing projects for people experiencing homelessness, and since 2010 developing Edberts House, a community charity in Gateshead. In 2015 Sarah and the Edberts team created a pilot programme – the Community Linking Project – with a local GP surgery to support patients around non-clinical issues. This has now been expanded across 27 Gateshead practices, with additional consultancy in a further 14.
The programme has made a real impact on patients and surgeries in Gateshead, and is changing the way that the local system supports communities with multiple and complex needs. Sarah is delighted that this approach is now being expanded across the country. As a regional learning coordinator, Sarah is excited to be able to share some of their learning with others.
Jackie Jamieson: For much of her career Jackie has been involved in economic regeneration, external funding and programme management in the public sector. Since 2013 she has worked in the voluntary and community sector (VCSE), where she has developed services, managed projects and community provision aimed at improving health and wellbeing, as well as tackling some of the inequalities faced by communities.
Jackie has been with t Edberts House in Gateshead since 2018 , leading on the expansion and development of their Community Linking Project, most recently supporting primary care networks (PCNs) to embed social prescribing and supporting link workers. She continues to be passionate about the positive impact social prescribing has on the patients the team supports.
Janet Wheatley: Janet recently retired after 16 years as Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Rotherham (VAR), supporting over 1400 voluntary, community groups, and 49,000+ volunteers in Rotherham.
She has been involved in various roles with the voluntary and community sector (VCSE) for over 30 years as a chief executive/ volunteer and trustee for a wide range of different charities locally and nationally.
Janet is also the Lay Member for Primary Care at Rotherham CCG, a member of the Independent Ethics Panel for South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner, a young people’s education and training charity and is a Deputy Lieutenant for South Yorkshire. In 2017, she was awarded an MBE for Services to the Community in Rotherham.
Since 2012 Janet has been responsible for developing and operating a nationally acclaimed and award-winning Social Prescribing Service within Rotherham and has presented at numerous conferences and events in relation to Social Prescribing.
Malcolm Bray: Malcolm has worked in the local government, NHS, academic and private sectors, where he has led and managed strategic partnerships to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. The development of effective health and wellbeing partnerships and building the capacity and capability of health and wellbeing systems have played an important part in his work.
In recent years Malcolm has provided leadership in developing wellbeing hubs, creating Dementia Alliances including the award-winning Dementia Friendly Crawley Programme. Malcolm is committed to improving health and wellbeing in communities and has managed innovative approaches using action research methods to develop social prescribing programmes.
Malcolm is also the Regional Facilitator for the South East Social Prescribing Network.
Rhian Loughlin: Rhian has been involved in the delivery of social prescribing for nearly two decades. She has been Head of Services at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre – a charity set-up to address health inequalities in inner-city Bristol – for over 11 years, and is currently programme lead of a social-prescribing programme called SPEAR based in Bristol’s areas of high multiple deprivation.
Rhian has worked alongside GPs to develop and deliver social prescribing in Bristol, and has partnered with many voluntary and community sector organisations to provide positive activities in the community, including Arts on Referral. Her work is heavily influenced by Marmot’s recommendations and she is committed to a strengths-based approach whereby people and communities are seen as assets and agents in their own health and wellbeing.
Michelle Pilling: Michelle is currently Deputy Chair of NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group leading on Quality and Patient and Public Involvement.
Her own social prescribing journey started in 2002. Since then she has covered a variety of different social prescribing roles from link worker to strategic lead, working across health, social care and the voluntary sector. She is committed to building sustainable relationships with a wide range of local stakeholders, and to addressing inequalities.
Having championed the full spectrum of social prescribing over many years, from link worker to Asset Based Community Development Michelle will be using her experience to help link workers in the north west tap into the good practice and collaborative networks that already exist in the north west. This will also include helping them connect into the wider health and care family so that they quickly start to feel part of the team.
East of England
Siân Brand: As well as taking on the role of regional learning coordinator for the East of NHS England, Siân is the Social Prescribing Facilitator in the region, and has also supported development of the recently published national quality framework for social prescribing
Siân has worked most of her recent career in health, in various commissioning roles including children and young people, cancer, and patient and public engagement. During this time, she has acquired local expertise and knowledge in the voluntary and community sector. She is passionate about asset-based approaches to community health and wellbeing and driving culture change to support people to maintain good health & wellbeing.
Siân has also helped to develop whole system models of social prescribing in Mid Essex (hosted by Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action) the Borough of Kingston in London (hosted by Connected Kingston) and in Warwickshire and Southend.
Siân has recently joined the Horizon’s School for Change Agents programme which is about developing skills to facilitate change in organisations and systems to improve outcomes of local people.
Greater Manchester and West Midlands
Sophie Glinka: Sophie works for both the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care partnership (in the Person Centred and Community Approaches team as Social Prescribing Lead) and The Bureau Glossop; a medium sized charity with a focus on community health and wellbeing.
At the Bureau Sophie has developed a VCSE-led social prescribing scheme embedded within the local integrated neighbourhood structure, which has been up and running for two years.
She has experience of all aspects of social prescribing design, development and implementation at both a local and regional level, with hands-on experience of dealing with current opportunities and challenges. She is looking forward to supporting the growth of social prescribing on a wider geographical footprint, seeing its huge potential to both transform health and social care and develop and grow the VCSE.
Maria Willis: Maria’s background is in managing numerous services and contracts in the Third Sector. She has run a Social Prescribing service and more recently, has been a project manager in the Universal Personalised Care programme at Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s Integrated Care System.
She knows that there are already many innovative approaches that are being implemented in the East Midlands, and as regional learning coordinator she will be encouraging people to share their good practice. She sees social prescribing and community connectivity as making a huge contribution to system change. By working with the link workers she will also be contributing to proving the concept – that by having different, more personalised conversations, and by working together with health, social care and voluntary, community services we can support more people to take more responsibility for their long term health and social wellbeing.