Attempt to improve health and wellbeing in the town with new ‘social prescribing’ initiative.

Sporty and crafty pursuits or voluntary work could soon be among the many activities available ‘on prescription’ for people in Ilfracombe with the introduction of a new scheme.

Next week One Ilfracombe is launching a ‘social prescribing’ project to help people in the town who may be isolated, vulnerable or lonely by pointing them towards activities and new interests.

People can be referred by their GP or other health agencies as well as filling out a referral form on the One Ilfracombe website.

It will not replace normal NHS treatment but will be an extra to try and help deal with the underlying reason for health problems such as isolation, anxiety or low self-esteem.

The idea of fitness or art activities on prescription isn’t new, but One Ilfracombe is aiming to take it a step further by including a as many different services and activities in the area as possible.

These could include help to find employment or learn new skills, attending hobby and activity groups or sports clubs, voluntary work, courses or putting them in touch with support groups or agencies.

Miriam Turner, the new One Ilfracombe community connector and it will be her job to act as a ‘human hub’ of information and to point people in the direction of what services can help them.

“I’m very enthusiastic about the project and I’m passionate about Ilfracombe as I live here,” she said.

“I think it’s an amazing free service, because so many people I know want to do things but don’t know who does them or how they can get involved.”

For more details visit www.oneilfracombe.org.uk and click on the community connector link. If organisations would like to be added to the virtual hub of services available, please contact Miriam either online or via the Ilfracombe Centre on 01271 855300.