What is Thriving Communities?

Thriving Communities is a National Support Programme for anyone interested or invested in realising the potential of Social Prescribing. We support voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups working alongside existing local infrastructure agencies, Social Prescribing Link Workers and social prescribing leaders of all kinds. Communities 1st delivers the regional programme in the East of England.

By acting as a ‘community connector’, the Thriving Communities Programme aims to provide support for the propagation of social prescribing across systems, the development and sustainability of local good practice at a regional level, and create learning opportunities allowing grassroots organisations to grow and thrive. 

We offer a platform for our region to be bold, to constructively challenge the status quo, and start conversations which tackle real world issues affecting communities in the wake of unprecedented turbulence and pressures in global and domestic affairs. We recognise that social prescribing has the ability to create fairer, better connected communities for people to belong, to provide more appropriate and cost effective support than some statutory interventions and address health inequity.

Map of East of England

Learning Together

As part of our core offer to our growing regional network we deliver 'Learning Together,' a responsive programme of shared support and development which is offered freely to all in the VCFSE sector across the Eastern region. Learning Together aims to provide whatever organisations in our communities need to sustain their good practice and nurtures collaborations which develop local social prescribing infrastructure.

Through our Learning Together programme, we’ve supported over 350 participants to date and continue to deliver a series of monthly regional webinars, events and e-news updates packed with useful information covering the following subjects and more:

  • Social Prescribing Development
  • Arts, Heritage Creativity and Culture Activity
  • Sports and Physical Activity
  • Nature & Connecting with the Natural Environment
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Community Advice
  • Funding

The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) previously funded 37 Thriving Community partnership programmes across England through joint investment from the Arts Council England, Historic England, Natural England, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Sport England, the Money & Pensions Service and NHS Charities Together. The independent evaluation of the Thriving Communities Project was published in September. You can read the full report here

Some of Our Learning Together Network Members