We believe that everybody should lead their life with enjoyment, fulfillment and choice. Sometimes in later life these things can become a little more difficult to achieve for some people. Our Hand in Hand service is designed to help.
How does Hand in Hand work?
Individuals are referred to us (initially by their Winchester GP) and will become a ‘scheme member’. Accompanied by the Wellbeing Co-Ordinators, we will have a conversation with the member about what they would like to achieve and what support they may require. This will allow us to find out how we can help and form a ‘Living Well Plan’. Volunteers will support scheme members to achieve their goals, and will direct them towards services and/or individuals who are best placed to help. Volunteers will help with making the first introductions and will act as a guiding hand, supporting the scheme member and our staff. We try to match scheme members and volunteers based on interests and preferences wherever possible.
To support the service, we have developed an online directory of local activities, groups, events and services designed for older people in the Winchester area. We will put members in touch with services and individuals by searching through the directory and will let them know about an activity that could benefit them and could improve their wellbeing. The directory will launch on our website in Spring/Summer 2019.
What is our aim?
Our aim is to make a real difference by helping to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of local older residents, providing those who are referred to us with new social opportunities. With the support of volunteers, we will help our scheme members to live full and independent lives for as long as possible. Hand in Hand is a form of NHS-backed social prescribing and is a way of extending our support beyond our four walls. It is our aim to reduce the effects of isolation and loneliness, improve wellbeing and reduce stress on primary care services.
There are a few core elements to our proposed scheme:
- Signposting Services – Our staff and volunteers will identify appropriate events, groups or activities based in the local area and will guide individuals using our service to them. Our purpose-built database will be used by volunteers as a form of signposting. It will be a handy way to quickly access local information specifically for older people, and will arrive on our website in 2019.
- Living Well Plans – One of the first steps is to discuss with the scheme member about what support they may need in order to improve their wellbeing. This will enable us to gain a clear understanding of how we can help, and gives them the opportunity to set out what support they require and what their goals are.
- Befriending – Our friendly network of volunteers will offer support to scheme members. We will try to match volunteers to scheme members based on their preferences, personalities and what it is that they want to achieve.
What is Social Prescribing?
Social prescribing is a part of the NHS’ long-term plan. It is a way of connecting patients in primary care with community-based sources of support. In the context of Hand in Hand, local GPs in Winchester can use Hand in Hand as a non-medical referral option, working in conjuction with an individual’s existing treatments to improve their health and overall wellbeing.
Hand in Hand Office:
Basement 47 Southgate Street, Winchester SO23 9EH
Tel.: 01962 827795