Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation, Bridging the Gap and Foundation Living

New social prescribing service launches in Leeds

Linking Leeds, the new service that will allow Leeds GP surgeries to prescribe wellbeing activities such as fitness classes, housing support and volunteering opportunities, is now live.

Linking Leeds is a new, city-wide service which aims to link people to groups and activities in their community, helping to benefit their overall health and wellbeing. This is called ‘social prescribing’, and has come about as GPs seek new ways to help patients with common complaints such as stress, anxiety and loneliness.

Patients can see a Wellbeing Coordinator who will work to understand their needs, then help them to access relevant community activities, including art, gardening and fitness groups, mental health services and specialist advice or support services for housing, money and health.

Linking Leeds replaces three separate social prescribing initiatives in Leeds, Connect Well, PEP and Connect for Health, bringing them together into one integrated service available to all Leeds residents.

Josie Foster, Project Coordinator for Linking Leeds, said: “It’s great to see the enthusiasm and energy, people are raring to get the new service up and running.  It’s amazing to have the whole team together to start the new city-wide service, which will provide a more seamless experience for the people of Leeds.

“We hope that the service will continue to go from strength to strength. We want everyone to know Linking Leeds and know that it is available if you are feeling stressed, lonely, anxious or just want to be more active and meet new people.”

Faye Oldroyd, Director of Operations for Inspire North, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to build on the ten years’ collective experience we and our partners have of delivering social prescribing in Leeds.

“We look forward to working closely in partnership with our primary care colleagues to bring Linking Leeds to our brilliant and diverse communities.”

Linking Leeds is a NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group funded project, provided by Community Links in partnership with Barca Leeds, Leeds Mind, Feel Good Factor, Better Leeds Communities, Leeds Irish Health and Homes, Age UK and Leeds City Council.

Leeds residents can get more information and access the service by visiting their GP, filling out the form at www.commlinks.co.uk/linking-leeds or calling 0113 336 7612.