Identifying local assets
Identifying the need to increase physical activity levels among residents that face additional barriers in leading a healthy lifestyle, the green prescribing role in Maldon was established. By building capacity within communities, specifically focusing in Heybridge West and Maldon East, there was a desire to make use of local assets and grow existing opportunities.
Green social prescribing is the practice of supporting people to engage in nature-based interventions and activities to improve their mental and physical health. There is a strong and growing evidence that nature based social prescribing plays an important role in improving mental and physical health, whilst reducing loneliness within communities.
Since the start of the project in October 2023, 15 organisations have been engaged, including Walks for Wellbeing, who now hold regular weekly walks due to consistent attendance from local residents. The Green Prescriber in Maldon has supported new community groups including an outdoor activity group for parents and under 5s to access funding.
The new role has helped to build strong connections with people and groups within the community, as well as work closely with parish councils and rural areas of Maldon, to reduce isolation. Specific work has taken place to introduce new activities in areas that have limited transport links, ensuring those who would not otherwise have access to physical activity opportunities, now engage with regular sessions.
In order to ensure recently created activities are sustainable, there has been an increasing need to source volunteers within the community to support the projects. A key link with Moat Housing has supported the connections between different communities across the district which has been promising to see.