BNSSG Healthier Together

Social prescribing projects win national awards


Two social prescribing projects in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have won prestigious national awards at the Social Prescribing Awards 2024.

Open Minds Active, which helps people connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors, won the Award for the Best Nature Based (Green and Blue) Social Prescribing Project, while Wesport, a sports charity that helps people become more physically active, won the Award for Best Physical Activity Social Prescribing Project.

Dr Joanne Medhurst, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, said:

“We are absolutely delighted Open Minds Active and Wesport have won these national awards.

“Social prescribing is so important as it helps improve people’s health and wellbeing by connecting them to activities, groups and support including gardening, cooking, volunteering, financial advice, wild swimming, yoga.

“The teams at Open Minds Active and Wesport have worked really hard to help support people across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to make positive changes and we’re thrilled that this has been recognised nationally.”

Social prescribing recognises that people’s health and wellbeing are affected by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, and that the most effective prescriptions do not always come in the form of medication. Social prescribing starts with an assessment of the patient’s current situation and then the Link Worker can suggest services in the community which can help, ranging from counselling services to physical activity groups.

The Social Prescribing Awards 2024, hosted by the Social Prescribing Network and the National Academy for Social Prescribing, recognise and celebrate the wealth of innovative social prescribing projects and schemes running throughout the UK and internationally.

Ali Chodkiewicz, Social Prescribing Project Manager for Wesport, said:

“This award is testament to the wonderful team of Physical Activity Link Workers, their hard work, passion and dedication to supporting individuals to access physical activity opportunities to improve health and wellbeing.

“We are absolutely delighted that the project has been recognised nationally as an example of collaboration and how physical activity and the health sector can work together to reduce health inequalities in our community.”

Maggy Blagrove, Founder at Open Minds Active, said:

“Receiving a national award is an incredible honour for everyone who has been part of this project over the past three years. As a small team, we rarely pause to consider the profound impact of our work, as we are constantly evolving and striving for improvement.

“Like many community initiatives, the past few years have presented significant challenges, but this recognition has provided a tremendous boost to both our team and our participants.”

For more information, please visit Open Minds Active website and Wesport website.

Staff from Open Mind Active and Wesport with their awards.

Staff from Open Mind Active and Wesport with their awards.