BNSSG Healthier Together

Forward-thinking approach to healthcare in nature celebrated with award


Maria Needs and Kelly Rogers of Empowering Futures Care Farm, based in South Gloucestershire, won the Green Award at the South West Integrated Personalised Care Awards.

The judges of the awards, which were held in Totnes, were particularly impressed by Empowering Futures helping people of all ages and abilities take control and improve their own health. The panel also noted the strong practice around sustainable farming, tree planting and carbon capture planting.

Empowering Futures Care Farm was put forward for the award by Steve Spiers, who was Programme Manager for Green Social Prescribing in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and is now Personalised Care Manager for BNSSG based within Sirona care & health. He said:

“You only have to visit Empowering Futures to see the impact they have on people. There is something magical about being outside and connecting with nature that can improve physical and mental health in ways that more clinical approaches cannot. That Empowering Futures also promote nature recovery and biodiversity makes their work even more impressive.”

Personalised Care means people have choice and control over the way their care is planned and delivered. It is based on ‘what matters’ to them and their individual strengths and needs. Based on patient choice, it represents a new relationship between people, professionals, and the system.

Steve also submitted the Inner City & East Bristol (ICE) Locality Partnership for an award and it was Highly Commended for its work in the Health Equity category. In 2023 over 700 ICE residents were referred to nature-based interventions with significant improvements reported in reducing anxiety and increasing happiness.

Steve Spiers, Personalised Care Programme Manager for BNSSG, said:

“It was great to see ICE’s approach recognised on a regional stage. So many amazing community providers across ICE are helping people access nature to improve their health. The locality team and Board have taken such a forward-thinking approach, and they and everyone else involved thoroughly deserve this commendation.”

Michelle Scofield, Head of Personalised Care for BNSSG, said:

“Steve and I are working to develop personalised care across BNSSG and these are two fantastic examples of how we can really make a difference by asking, ‘What matters to you?’ and focusing on the strengths of people in our communities. This approach really does make a difference!”

To find out more about the Personalised Care awards, check out the NHS England website.

For more information on Empowering Futures’ groundbreaking work, watch this video.