Breathe are delighted to be finalists of the Social Prescribing Network Awards 2021, alongside many other incredibly inspiring organisations.
We were nominated for the Award of Best Community-based Organisation in Social Prescribing, sponsored by TCV and National Lottery Community Fund, celebrating organisations that have quickly and effectively adapted their work,to help communities during the pandemic.
When the pandemic hit, we knew the communities that we engage would need our arts and health programmes more than ever. Where funding allowed, we rapidlydeveloped our programmes to be delivered virtually, finding creative solutions to respond to complex health problems.
One example is our wonderful Breathe Sing for Lung Health group, that used to meet in-person every fortnight at the Southbank Centre. Recognising the increased vulnerability of this patient group, all of whom have been referred by their GP or clinician due to a respiratory condition,wequickly re-designed this programme transferring to online delivery in just a few weeks.
The first online session took place on 1st April 2020 and since then the programme hasflourished and become a place of social connection, helping combat isolation for those living alone and shielding during the pandemic.The demand from participantsis so high we’ve increased to weeklysessions, seeing numbers and consistency of attendance rise.
In a recent evaluation we found that:
100% reported improved lung capacity and reduced breathlessness,
93% reported a positive impact on wellbeing,
80% reported a positive impact on sense of connection with others,
87% reported a positive impact on their sense of the healthcare environment,
93% reported a positive impact on their experience of life at home.
Breathe Sing is just one example of how we’ve been supporting the community throughout the pandemic. Through Breathe Dancefor Strength and Balance, with the Older Persons Assessment Unit’s Physiotherapists at Guy’s Hospital, we’ve developed a home-based chair dance and physiotherapy programme for older patients with vestibular conditions.
Patients can be referred by their GP or Physiotherapist, offering a fun and social way to improve strength and balance and reduce risk of injury. In the re-design of this programme, we had to ensure movements could be completed safely, without assistance, at home, encouraging those isolated and sedentary to remain active.
See our overview video here:
As we continue to navigate the new normal, we are strengthening partnerships within the NHS, social sector and social prescribing pathways, ensuring our life changing work can have maximum reach and impact to many communities.
The Social Prescribing Network Awards event took place on 4 March at a ceremony during the 3rd International Conference, held virtually and attracting over 900 people. A huge congratulations to all of the nominees, and their brilliant work.
In case you missed it, you can watch the ceremony here.