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  • Amadea Turk, Stephanie Tierney, Kamal R. Mahtani
The team stood outside community pub in Abingdon © Shutterstock

Social prescribing is a key policy initiative for the NHS. It seeks to address people’s non-clinical problems (e.g. money or housing issues, loneliness), shown to increase physical and mental ill-health, through a range of activities (e.g. befriending, cultural events, luncheon clubs). Evidence suggests that social prescribing depends on availability of local services, which are often based in urban areas. Less attention has been paid to social prescribing for people in rural areas.

The potential for social prescribing may be more restricted in rural areas (e.g. due to lack of public transport, a potentially more limited range of voluntary/community sector activities, having a smaller population to draw on to run and attend local groups). Therefore, there may be a greater risk of social isolation and health inequalities. Consulting those living in these areas is key to developing a programme of research to meet their needs and priorities.

We have engaged with members of a more rural area, to help us understand how social prescribing should be set up to make a difference to health and well-being across different life stages. We partnered with a community pub in Oxfordshire to run this one day engagement event.

Our engagement event aimed to:

  • Test out creative approaches to engaging members of the public, across age groups, in discussions about social prescribing and its role and delivery in rural settings.
  • Identify research and implementation priorities for SP in rural areas for those living in such a community
  • Identify and build relationships with community champions to establish connections for future research.

Meet the team:


Volunteering and social prescribing

Stephanie Tierney, Kamal R. Mahtani, Amadea Turk, Geoff Wong

to 17 April 2020

The role of Gardens, Libraries and Museums in supporting well-being

Stephanie Tierney, Kamal R. Mahtani, Amadea Turk

to 19 March 2020

Social prescribing connector schemes

Stephanie Tierney, Kamal R. Mahtani, Geoff Wong, Anne-Marie Boylan

to 14 March 2020

Exploring social prescribing needs for rural communities: A healthy community fair in a community pub

Amadea Turk, Stephanie Tierney, Kamal R. Mahtani

to 26 February 2020