Winter 2024 Newsletter


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South Southwark Social Prescribing Winter Newsletter

Our Social Prescribing Link Workers support anyone registered to a South Southwark GP.

Over several sessions, we help identify what matters to the individual and develop a plan with them to support them to make positive life changes.

We will connect the individual to activities, services, social groups, and advice in and around Southwark.


In this Winter edition of the social prescribing newsletter:

  • What has our team been up to?
  • How to start your new year well - With Nicolette Bell, IHL Health and Wellbeing Coach
  • Service Spotlight – Horniman Museum and Gardens nature-based activities
  • Warm Spaces Southwark

"It is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change."


Social prescribing quick-fire questions

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing is a holistic approach that connects people to activities, groups, and services in their community to meet the practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing.

What kind of things can you help me with?

Our team focuses on what matters to you, taking into account your non medical needs. We can support with linking to services that can support with issues such as housing, finance, low level mental health, employment, bereavement,  social isolation, lifestyle changes, and many more.

How can I access social prescribing?

Our social prescribing team work closely with GP practices in South Southwark who refer directly to our service.

Do I need to book an appointment with my GP to be referred?

No, anyone within the GP practice can refer to the social prescribers, including reception and admin staff.

What can't social prescribers help with?

Social prescribers don't support with medical issues. We also aren't support workers, so can't provide ongoing case management for those with very complex needs. 

How long can you support me for?

There is no set time. Some people feel supported with just 1 or 2 sessions over a couple of weeks, others may need more input. The aim of social prescribing is to give a person tools to better identify and manage their own health goals, thus it is not designed as long-term support.


What has our team been up to?

black history month event

Our social prescribing lead, Gay Palmer, attended a Health Watch Southwark Black History Month Event, where they discussed the power of social prescribing for people experiencing inequalities. The event was hosted by Franklin and Saidat, who are Community Health Ambassadors. The Deputy Mayor of Southwark Councillor Naima Ali was also in attendance, highlighting the needs of the community.

Gay Palmer attended the launch of The Power of Music Fund and the Music Can digital platform at a special event for policy-makers, charities and health leaders at Universal Music UK’s offices.

the power of music fund

christmas presents

Natalie Parker attended the Camberwell Green Community Christmas Market and engaged with members of the community by talking to them about aspects of social prescribing. She also supported in encouraging people to get free health checks. 

Terry-King Emmanuel, housing specialist social prescriber, has provided our team with different training sessions on housing, immigration, and welfare benefits.

terry king emmanuel

kingdom thirst cic

Emma Summerhayes, children and families social prescriber, attended Kingdom Thirst CIC Presents Chrimbo X-Mas at Peckham square. Southwark council and public health were providing free meals, health checks and flu vaccines. 

Emma Summerhayes and Natalie Eccleston, our Children and Families social prescribers, have regularly been doing outreach at PACT Southwark. This has been a great opportunity for them to build relationships with service providers and support parents by linking them to services in the community. For more information on their roles, see our Autumn 2023 newsletter.

pact southwark

london senior socials

Jenifer Ingleton volunteered her time at London Senior Social’s Annual Christmas Day Dinner and enjoyed chatting, dancing and eating with members of the community.

For more information about the great work London Senior Social are doing, go to their website


How to Start Your New Year Well – With Nicolette Bell, IHL Health and Wellbeing Coach

Happy New Year!

As we embark on this new year, many of us are filled with excitement and motivation to make positive changes in our lives. It's not uncommon for people to set resolutions and goals, especially around health and well-being. However, research shows that a significant number of individuals give up on their resolutions by the 19th of January, commonly referred to as "Quitter's Day" by Strava, a platform analysing exercise activities.

nicolette bell

Why is it so difficult to build a new habit?

Lack of a Clear "WHY"

  • Solution: Dig deep using the 7 Levels Deep exercise to uncover your true motivation.
  • Example: "I want to work out because I don't want to live longer for my family and create beautiful memories."

Unrealistic Goals and Trying to Do Too Much

  • Solution: Start small and focus on one habit at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
  • Example: Instead of multiple goals, start with a simple habit like exercising for 7 minutes daily.

Overreliance on Motivation

  • Solution: Create small, easy-to-achieve habits that reduce the need for constant motivation.
  • Example: Read one page of a book every day or do one push-up daily.

Impatience for Immediate Results

  • Solution: Be patient and disciplined; progress may not be immediately visible.
    • Remember the "3 feet from gold" story – success might be closer than you think.
    • Results Happen Over Time, Not Overnight

Understanding how habits work: The Habit Loop Mechanism from Charles Duhigg's "Power of Habit" is crucial:

  • Cue: Identify triggers that lead to your habits.
  • Routine: Recognize the behavior or action triggered.
  • Reward: Understand the benefit that reinforces the habit.


  • Cue: Go to the kitchen and see the cookies on the table
  • Routine: Eat the cookies
  • Reward: Sugar high

How to change into a healthy habit?

  • Cue: Go to the kitchen and see fresh fruits instead
  • Routine: eat the fruit
  • Reward: Happier and no guilt for making healthier choices

Being aware of the cue is essential to breaking the cycle of bad habits and replacing them with sustainable, healthy alternatives.


So How Do You Make Your Habits Stick?

Know Your "WHY" and Visualize Success

  • Tool: Create visual reminders like vision boards or phone wallpapers.

Start Small and Set Realistic Goals

  • Tool: Use a habit tracker to tick off your achievements daily.

Be Patient and Consistent

  • Results happen over time; missing a day won't derail your progress.

Importance of Accountability in Forming New Habits

  • Announce your goal on social media.
  • Have an accountability partner.
  • Form a group with friends or family for mutual support.
  • Consider getting a coach for accountability, support, and guidance.

Be kind and compassionate to yourself.

  • Remember, habits are a journey, not a destination. Treat yourself with kindness on this path to positive change.
  • Let's make this year the one where your resolutions become lasting habits. Here's to a healthy and fulfilling year ahead!

Wishing you all the best on your journey to well-being,

Nicolette Bell
Health and Well-being Coach

If you’d like to learn more about IHL’s Health and Wellbeing Coaches see our page.


Service Spotlight – Horniman Museum and Gardens Nature-Based Activities

horniman museum and gardens

There is a strong and growing evidence that nature based, or “green” social prescribing plays and important role in improving mental and physical health and reducing loneliness.

The Horniman museum are running nature-based activities to promote mental wellbeing on Mondays between the 29th January and the 18th March. This includes growing activities, nature crafts, walks or simply spending time outside, in a relaxed and non-pressured environment. Warm indoor space will always be available – as well as tea and coffee. All adults are welcome, and people can attend as many or as few sessions as they like. 

To get involved, or to refer someone to the service, text Isaac from the Horniman: 


Warm Spaces Southwark

As the cost of living and heating our homes increases, Southwark council have worked with partners to open a network of warm spaces across the borough. In these spaces, you can keep warm, and in some of them you can take part in an activity, get cost of living advice, or get free hot drinks and food.

Find an updated list of these warm spaces


Published: Jan 25, 2024