Midlands landlord praised for ‘life-changing’ health and wellbeing service
14th December 2022
Leading Midlands’ landlord whg has been praised for its ‘life-changing’ health and wellbeing service which is making a huge difference to its customers and communities.
whg commissioned HACT (the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust) to evaluate and quantify the impact of its new social prescribing service, launched during lockdown in June 2020.
The H Factor (Health, Hope and Happiness) social prescribing programme involves providing practical and emotional support to people who are often over-reliant on health services for non-medical issues via a team of in-house Social Prescribers.
Funded entirely by whg, the programme is benefitting wider health services and has proven extremely successful in reducing the burden on the NHS. A total of 93% of those surveyed after receiving support reported a significant reduction in their contact with their GP, with 91.4% seeing a positive improvement in their wellbeing, 91.7% improving in confidence and self-esteem and 30% gaining employment and qualifications. By addressing these wider factors that have the power to cause homelessness the programme is also supporting customers to sustain their tenancies.
HACT’s report on the service stated it is “filling a gap in wellbeing support provision using innovative and holistic approaches to working with customers.” Based on the strong outcomes, it recommended that health partners consider supporting the expansion of this service in order to meet demand.
The report went on to add: “The whg social prescribing service has had a life-changing impact.
“The interventions of the team, quite literally, saved lives on occasion but overall, transformed houses into homes and gave meaning and hope to live once again.”
In some of Walsall’s most disadvantaged areas nearly half of children live in poverty while 34% of people are managing a long-term illness or disability which negatively affects their day-to-day life.
Connie Jennings, Director of Stronger Communities at whg, said: “As a place-based social housing landlord and anchor institution, embedded into the fabric of communities, we play a huge role in supporting places to thrive. Our social prescribing programme is an excellent example of that – not only sustaining tenancies and helping local people live happy, independent lives but also addressing the health inequalities faced by our residents.
“This report evidences the fantastic outcomes we have achieved, and identifies a significant demand for social prescribing. As we look to expand the service further, I hope HACT’s findings will inspire fellow landlords to explore such opportunities to build healthier, more resilient local communities.”