Social Prescribing: The Role of Social Enterprise

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Published: 02.03.18

Executive Summary

The Scottish Government has pledged to introduce an additional 250 community link workers by 2021. This commitment has been accompanied by an eagerness to understand the wide range of social prescribing activity that currently exists in Scotland.

Social prescribing is gradually gaining recognition in Scotland for the value of its contribution to tackling pressing social issues including loneliness, social isolation and depression. The role of social prescribing in promoting self-management and community assets in relation to positive health outcomes is a large part of its appeal, however there remain difficulties in evidencing the impact of individual models.

This paper considers various approaches to social prescribing, outlining how the principle values of social enterprise often dovetail appropriately with community-led health programmes. It will also highlight some of the challenges faced by social prescribing and how social enterprise can play its part in finding ongoing solutions – complementing traditional NHS health pathways in communities across Scotland.


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Case Studies

Clydesdale Community Initiatives’ person-centred model engages in alternative, non-clinical activities which utilise an individual’s strengths, experiences and aspirations. The focus is on providing real inclusion, real work and real value to the communities CCI support. Click here to view its website.

The Care and Wellbeing Cooperative is a local group of self-employed carers, professionals, therapists and wellbeing specialists who together work to give people in rural Perthshire greater flexibility and choice over the support and wellbeing services available to them. Click here to view its website.

The Good Morning Service helps older people retain their independence with a light-touch package of support delivered over the phone in the form of ‘befriending sessions’. Click here to view its website.