Clonmel Social Prescribing Service and SOS

My name is Mary Anne Hayes and I work as a social prescribing link worker at Clonmel Community resource centre. Social prescribing is a big term but it simply means that I support adults living in the Clonmel area to connect with community groups, services, clubs and activities with the overall goal of improving a person’s general health and well being.

My role involves working one to one with adults providing them a space where they can come and talk about their situation and the factors in their lives that may be affecting their health and well being. I then provide the person with information on what they can connect with in their community to help improve their health and well being, the person chooses what they would like to connect with and I then support the person to make this connection. For example, people may visit their GP because they may feel stressed about a family situation, money or because they are lonely or isolated. But these problems cannot be fixed by medicine or doctors alone. Social prescribing supports people to connect with a range of activities and services based on a person’s situation and preferences. These can include volunteering, craft groups, walking groups, ETB classes, wellness workshops, support groups and many more.

I first got the opportunity to connect with SOS when a WRAP programme was facilitated online for social prescribing link workers. I attended the training hoping to come away with tips and tools to use to support clients, but I didn’t realise how important it would be towards minding my own wellbeing. The WRAP programme provided me with a space and time to focus specifically on my own wellbeing, what do I do daily to keep myself feeling good and happy. The group setting also allowed us to connect and learn from one another and the facilitators created a friendly comfortable environment.

The WRAP programme reminded me of the day-to-day things I do to keep myself well which is something I believe so many of us don’t give ourselves the time to recognise and was something I felt would really benefit the clients I was engaging with. I was very easily able to contact SOS and organise a time for a WRAP programme to take place in Clonmel. 10 social prescribing clients attended a 2 day WRAP programme and the feedback from those who participated was just excellent. The group found the facilitators brilliant in communicating and making the group feel at ease. This space allowed the group to focus on their wellbeing, connect with each other and also access other supports in Clonmel together like the WRAP support group held at the involvement centre.

Social prescribing Day was on March the 9th and to celebrate this I was delighted to be able to connect with SOS again and start organising a one day wellness workshop where anyone in the community of Clonmel can come and learn a wide range of practical tools and tips that you can use in your everyday life to improve your own wellness. These one-day workshops aim to help you understand and take charge of your own mental health. It’s also great that the workshops are for everyone as we all have mental health!

I look forward to taking part in the upcoming wellness workshop and continuing to work with SOS to support our communities to connect with one another and improve our health and wellbeing!