“Thank you for not giving up on me”
Jackie a 29-year-old Tameside resident had been diagnosed with chronic anxiety and depression and was referred into Social Prescribing by her GP at Dukinfield Medical Practice. Jackie lives with her 10-year-old son and has a partner; she told her GP that she struggles to maintain friendships and relationships and that she has no family support. Jackie’s GP mentioned Social Prescribing as she expressed, she would like to meet new people and reduce the amount of time she spends at home alone. Jackie welcomed a referral to the Social Prescribing team to help her make connections.
Social Prescribing Officer, Bernie was assigned Jackie as a client, Bernie listened to Jackie about her interests, homelife and areas in her life that were causing her concerns. From these conversations Bernie was able to work with Jackie to resolve concerns she had around finances as a starting point, connecting Jackie to financial support. Jackie also spoke to Bernie about her love of animals, which is when Bernie introduced detail of Noah’s Art, an alternative, inclusive approach to mental health and wellbeing, bringing together animals and people in Tameside.
Jackie loved the sound of Noah’s Art and the idea of visiting the facility, but her anxiety was holding her back. Bernie created a supportive space for Jackie to work at her own pace, there were a couple of dates where Bernie and Jackie had planned to visit Noah’s Art, but on the day Jackie didn’t feel ready. Jackie apologised to Bernie and said she was sorry for wasting Bernie’s time when she had cancelled, Bernie reassured Jackie and told her that she wasn’t wating her time, Bernie also told Jackie that she believed in her and knew it was something she was possible of doing and that the pace is set by her. A third visit was planned for Noah’s Art, Bernie met Jackie and her partner in the carpark, to help Jackie settle. Jackie and Bernie made an agreement that if Jackie became uncomfortable at any point, she was welcome to leave, this plan provided Jackie with reassurance, however Jackie’s anxiety was still having effect causing Jackie to physically shake for a period. Jackie made the decision that she was ready to visit the Dog Café at Noah’s Art, the group including Jackie were all greeted by Tom. Tom took the time to welcome Jackie and show her around the site and introduce her to the animals. As soon as Jackie saw the care from Tom towards the animals and informality of the setting, she started to relax and engage in conversation with Tom about the various animals she’d had over the years. By the time Jackie was leaving she was beaming with excitement saying that she would return, “I can see myself here with one of my dogs, the others won’t behave though so I can’t bring them” and “I would be happy to help doing the mucking out.”
Bernie drew upon her knowledge of support services and local groups to match Jackie with opportunities that would help her to achieve the goals she was working towards, at a pace set by Jackie, Bernie reflected on her work with Jackie, “I’m delighted that Jackie settled in straight away, it seems as though she has found her tribe at Noah’s Art.” Bernie was an ally for Jackie in her Social Prescribing journey, helping her to set manageable goals, reflecting on the achievements Jackie had made to date, creating a supportive environment for Jackie that would allow her to thrive and make those next steps. Alongside gaining connections to financial support and being introduced to Noah’s Art, Bernie also linked Jackie to TOG Mind’s Peer Support offer, who will enable Jackie to continue visiting the Noah’s Art sessions alongside a volunteer.
Bernie together with the wider Social Prescribing team have made numerous referrals for the people they are working with to Noah’s Art and recognise the value this group has in helping people to improve their health and wellbeing, with Bernie commenting “I have referred many people to Noah’s Art over the years and I know that each individual is going to have a quality and caring experience and gain so much from Noah’s Art. There is a real sense of community and a warm welcome for all, that puts people straight at ease, which is essential for our Social Prescribing clients."
To find out more about Social Prescribing in Tameside, call the team on 0161 830 6833 Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 16:00 or email us email@example.com