Connect Well to Live and Stay Well

An exciting new service is launching in the second week of February 2016 to promote long-term health, wellbeing and independence of the mid-Essex community.

The Connect Well service uses ‘social prescribing’ – an approach that seeks to improve people’s health and wellbeing by linking them to activities in the community that they might benefit from.

With the help of 200 trained Social Prescribing Champions, Connect Well uses an online referral system to give residents an easy way to access a wide variety of support and services on their doorstep. These Champions will meet with members of the public face to face in pharmacies, housing associations, councils, GP practices and other public places in order to assist in signposting to a range of help and through the online Connect Well website.

Communities across the country are increasingly using the "more than medicine" approach of social prescribing, and GPs are keen on the plan which sees early intervention and prevention support and can reduce or postpone the need for health and social care involvement. Connect Well can help signpost and connect residents in Braintree, Maldon and Chelmsford to activities including:   • Volunteering opportunities • Befriending and social activities • Support and self-help groups • Physical activities • Managing your money • Community transport

Connect Well has been funded by the Transformation Challenge Award, from the Department of Community and Local Government (DCLG) through Essex County Council and supported by Public Health. The initiative has been developed by a wide range of organisations working in partnership, including voluntary organisations, local councils, health, housing and GP practices.

Below is a brief overview of the three events:

Chelmsford - 11th February, 10am at Chelmsford City Council. In attendance will be partners and representatives from CCG, CCC, CVS, PROVIDE, Public Health and CHP, as well as Councillor Brown. A mini Health exhibition with 4-5 organisations will be running alongside it.

Maldon – 9th February, 10am at Maldon Council offices, there will be a mini health fair in the newly-refurbished council reception area with stalls from several voluntary groups who offer support and advice.

Braintree – 8th February, 11am at Braintree Museum, the launch of Connect Well is part of a week-long body science event at the museum. The body science week presents a collection of interactive displays showing how we use our senses and demonstrates how our lifestyles can affect our health and wellbeing.

Cllr Anne Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities and Healthy Living, said:

“When someone needs help, it’s not always for medical issues – sometimes they simply need help accessing support, activities and other services. Connect Well is a great way to directly improve people’s health and well-being, support communities’ development and increase social inclusion.”