Wellbeing scheme gets £663,000 funding boost following its success

Left to right: Charlotte Murphy, LifeLink coordinator, Robert Everitt, families and communities port

Left to right: Charlotte Murphy, LifeLink coordinator, Robert Everitt, families and communities portfolio holder, Susan Cantler, LifeLink participant, Amy Courtney-Moore, LifeLink participant, and Elaine Hewes LifeLink participant Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS - Credit: Archant

A successful scheme to support the NHS by addressing social and wellbeing needs of residents has received a £663,000 funding boost.

The money will both strengthen the Haverhill LifeLink scheme – which has been successfully run as a pilot with ONE Haverhill Partnership – and be used to develop a social prescribing model for Mildenhall and Brandon.

More than £160,000 has been provided by West Suffolk CCG for the social prescribing scheme, while £500,000 was provided through the 100% Business Rates pilot money – which was awarded to Suffolk by the Government for placed based issues.

The scheme helps address social and wellbeing needs of residents which can also impact on health and are sometimes traditionally hard for medical services to address.

This has led to people gaining confidence, getting back to employment, volunteering, and has helped improve physical and mental health as well as reducing debt and loneliness.

You may also want to watch:

West Suffolk councils have been backing the pilot in Haverhill with other agencies including the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and ONE Haverhill Partnership, where almost 200 people have been supported in just over a year since its inception.

A range of agencies can refer people to LifeLink, not just GPs, to help make access to the scheme quick and easy and reduce people going from organisation to organisation.

Most Read

In a joint statement, James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council and John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “We are really pleased to have been able to secure this funding to roll out the social prescribing pilot that has been so successful in Haverhill.

“This not only makes a real and transformational difference to people’s lives, but also supports community groups and volunteers as well as producing better mental and physical health for people.

“It is amazing to hear how much it has benefitted people who have been referred to LifeLink and we look forward to seeing this now in Brandon and Mildenhall.”

Dr Ed Garratt, chief officer at NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is very pleasing that the Haverhill social prescribing project has proved such a success and it is great news that the service will be expanding further to Mildenhall and Brandon, thanks to these extra financial resources.

“We’re glad to offer our support, with the £164,000 funding being part of a wider £5m transformation fund which the CCGs in west and east Suffolk have earmarked specifically for 46 individual projects that support partnership working and better outcomes for our population.

“It is important that we all work together to support people to enjoy good physical and mental wellbeing.”

John Mayhew, chairman of ONE Haverhill Partnership, who launched LifeLink in partnership with West Suffolk councils, said: “We are delighted that the Haverhill LifeLink health project has been secured for another three years after making such a tremendous impact as a pilot project, exclusive for the residents of our town.

“Thanks to the hard work and commitment of many, Haverhill LifeLink has made a real difference to the lives of almost 200 people in Haverhill and I look forward to this continuing.

“It is testament to the success of the project that West Suffolk councils are now looking at the Haverhill model when launching similar schemes in Brandon and Mildenhall.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter