Where There’s A Will…

…There’s a Way! Hello Southmead I’m Will Shipp and I work as a ‘Social Prescribing Link Worker’ for the Southmead Development Trust.  “What on earth does that mean?” I hear you ask.  Well, drinking lots of tea and chatting with people mostly!  I meet people to offer them extra support and information so they can access useful local services, groups, and more specialist help for a wide range of issues. This can be helpful if people have a particular goal or are struggling with something that’s really affecting them – things like benefit problems, housing worries, or feeling lonely.  I’m a ‘one-stop-shop’ – if I don’t know of a group, service, or activity then the likelihood is that it doesn’t exist!  But I also know that there are a lot of reasons why people aren’t able to access many of the great things that are out there, and I can help with that too.  Most people are referred to me by their GP, but people can also refer themselves by getting in touch with me by phone or email (see below).

My role is part of an exciting project called Healthy Alternatives which is part of the city-wide SPEAR (Social Prescribing for Equality and Resilience) programme. One purpose of this project is to give people a single point of contact who can help them benefit from all the fantastic groups, services, and resources within their communities in Bristol as and when they need support or information. This is part of a partnership between the Southmead Development Trust, Knowle West Health Park, Wellspring Healthy Living Centre and The Care Forum.

I’m always so impressed with the wonderful variety of things happening in Southmead, from boxing to baking. In the New Year I’ll be lucky enough to add to that by offering a brand new six-week course designed to help people to cope and manage better living with a long term condition or ongoing health problem. The course starts on the 16th January at 10.30am and booking is essential. Please look out for flyers at the Greenway Centre or contact me at willshipp@southmead.org or 07375 073494 for more information.

Warm wishes to everyone in Southmead for the festive season and New Year.