A prescription for better health and wellbeing

Boxer at Ponders End Youth Centre

Young people across Enfield will be connected with activities to encourage them to look after their wellbeing, build their confidence and learn new skills in a wide-reaching ‘social prescribing’ programme.

The Youth Alive programme is led by Enfield Council’s Public Health Team and delivered alongside the Council’s Youth Services Team, Enfield Voluntary Action (EVA) and community groups. It is mostly centred around physical activities for 10 to 19 year olds in the borough.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Alev Cazimoglu said: “I am proud that we have been able to support this robust social prescribing system for young people, particularly as it was a key recommendation in the Enfield Poverty and Inequality Commission Report. The Council was asked to explore ways to increase the accessibility and affordability of sports and leisure facilities for the poorest families in Enfield. The report also asked Enfield Council to support the voluntary and community sector to run activities that support the health and wellbeing priorities of increasing physical activities, improving diet, reducing smoking, and reducing social isolation. We have done just that.”

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Mahtab Uddin, added: “Youth Alive aims to improve health and wellbeing in a community setting with activities such as basketball, football, cooking, acting and drama lessons on offer. Youth workers will work with young people to find out what is best for them and will do their utmost to find programmes that will suit their interests. It is very much a case of us working with young people, asking them ‘What matters to you?’ rather than specifying what we think they should do.”

EVA is delivering the programme and has recruited Health Champions and Link Workers to help connect people with activities. Children and young people will be referred to their local Health and Wellbeing Youth Worker, who will discuss what the young person’s interests are and signpost them to free or low-cost activities.

GPs and parents can also make referrals to the programme by emailing socialprescribing@enfieldva.org.uk, or by phone, 07513 358972. Following this referral process, a young person will be contacted by a Health and Wellbeing Youth Worker for support.

Schools and GPs have also been given information about Kooth, a digital mental health platform for children and young people to access an online community of peers and accredited counsellors. Young people can be signposted here in addition to their Youth Alive referral. Youth Alive officially launched on 7 October 2021.