Thriving Communities Fund

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The Women’s Forum, run by Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service (PCVS), is working with various partners in the city to deliver initiatives that will improve health outcomes for a population affected by COVID-19

PCVS’ Women’s Forum has teamed up with local partners to deliver “Wonder Women”, an empowering project that will support women to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 period, build confidence, meet with others, grow self-esteem and improve financial literacy.

The idea for the project materialised when members of the Women’s Forum, recognised that they were no specific activities supporting women in Peterborough and wanted to raise the profile of women in the city.

To support this work, PCVS Women’s’ Forum has been awarded £50,000 from the Thriving Communities Fund, delivered by Arts Council England (ACE) on behalf of the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP). The project will now proceed to help women to overcome the effects of the pandemic. From social prescribing referrals and discussions within the forum, it is evident that women have been negatively impacted by isolation and bereavement, domestic violence/abuse and poor mental health from the effects of taking on multi-faceted roles as carers, parents, temporary teachers, income providers and home makers.

PCVS partnered with Living Sport, Metal, Arts & Minds, The Green Backyard, Open Door Trust (CAP) and Primary Care Networks (Thistlemoor and Octagon) will be delivering this project over the next year designed to help women across Peterborough recover from COVID-19 through the power of social prescribing, enabling health care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services to support their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Activities will include art workshops delivered through Metal, a National Portfolio Organisation funded by the Arts Council England and Arts and Minds, who have been delivering projects to improve mental health through art over the past 10 years.  Living Sport, sports and physical activity experts in the county, will organise sport activities to improve physical health and well-being and The Green Backyard, a local organisation who has been running a community garden for over 10 years will lead on the environmental aspect by providing planting, growing and eco activities.

Laura Kendrick, PCVS’ Communities Development Coordinator who facilitates the Women’s Forum is excited to get the Wonder Women project underway and says, “We’re delighted that The Thriving Communities Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, we will be able to create a support network for women in the recovery phase of the pandemic, which is incredibly important to increase their confidence and find and develop their voice. Participating in the various activities will not only boost self-esteem, community engagement, but mental and physical health too. We will also offer money management and advice services, which will lead to improved financial literacy, better home management and decreased stress in the family home meaning a decrease in service need. Improved health and wellbeing overall will result in less referrals to service support agencies e.g. GP’s, social services and link workers. We are so proud to be part of the Thriving communities programme and assist in unlocking the power of social prescribing in Peterborough”

The Thriving Communities Fund will support 37 projects across England and is being delivered in a unique partnership between the Arts Council England, Historic England and Natural England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, the Money & Pensions Service and NHS Charities Together.

It is part of the Thriving Community programme, which aims to strengthen the range of social prescribing activities offered locally, enhance collaboration and networking between local organisations and enable social prescribing link workers to connect people to more creative community activities and services. The programme is enabling providers working in arts, culture and heritage, nature, physical activity and offering life advice and support to develop initiatives, learn and network, and build the evidence base for social prescribing.

18th March 2021
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