21st March 2024
Physical Activity Social Prescribing Project report

In January 2022, Wesport were commissioned by Bristol City Council to deliver a physical activity social prescribing project across the city, utilising physical activity and movement to engage individuals impacted by the pandemic. The project aimed to advocate for physical activity to improve health inequalities experienced by residents by increasing access to physical activity opportunities across the city.

In collaboration with the 3 anchor organisations across the Bristol Localities: Knowle West Healthy Living Centre, Southmead Development Trust and Wellspring Settlement, embedding 3 Physical Activity Link Workers (PALW’s) into the Social Prescribing teams. The roles provided personalised guidance, adopting a warm transfer approach to supporting individuals to access physical activity, gently building communities and support networks by signposting to opportunities.

Over the course of the project the roles received over 800 referrals from health and social care professionals, and as a result of the support 61% of individuals are now more active in their daily lives, with 88% of those engaged having reported a positive change to their mental wellbeing.

A participant of the project said “it made a huge difference to have somebody supporting and encouraging me to make the initial move to try something different. Becoming more active, and having more social interaction and finding new interests, has helped both my physical fitness but also my mental wellbeing and sense of purpose.”

The full Bristol Physical Activity Social Prescribing Insight and Learning Report is available below