Living our best life project
About the Project
The Living our best life project was funded, by Equity Trustees, as an Ageing Innovation Challenge in late 2019. It sought to trial a model of social prescribing inspired by the work of Mendip Health Connections and the Bromley by Bow Centre in the United Kingdom. Social prescribing is the practice where health professionals provide a referral for a patient to be linked into social services and activities to address the social determinant contributing to poor health and loneliness. The Community Houses Association of the Outer-eastern Suburbs, in partnership with the Temple Society Australia, committed to trial a model that featured trained volunteers in the linking process. The project involved designing, testing and evaluating the model with thirty-six participants, including twenty formal referrals. These participants were connected into a range of community activities with positive feedback from all stakeholders. Participants reported improved feelings of wellbeing and social connectedness with some describing it as “life changing”.
The Living our best life project continues with volunteer community connectors linking participants into community activities and hosting weekly Talking Café groups in Wantirna South and Boronia.
Information for Participants
Once referred the volunteer community connector will contact you by telephone to discuss the referral with you. This will usually be within five working days. They may invite you to meet with them in a public place. Together you will be able to:
- Explore what is important for your wellbeing
- Identify the local activities and services you can benefit from
- Gain support and encouragement to start using services that can help you