A project to help tackle isolation in Huddersfield is a winner in this year’s Social Prescribing Network Awards.

The Growing Focal project, originally inspired by Christine Parker from Salendine Nook, has won the Award for Best Community-based Organisation in Social Prescribing.

Kirklees Council’s Social Prescribing team worked alongside anchor organisation Local Services 2 You to help residents come together face-to-face as part of the community response to Covid-19.

LS2Y with Lottery funding, created an outside group, at the time when people could only meet 6 people outside. The group helped to combat loneliness and isolation and as restrictions lifted, the group quickly grew.

Anchor organisations, LS2Y and local businesses, with the support of the committee at Focal came together to reopen the FOCAL Community Centre building in Oakes as quickly as possible to provide a safe space for people to come together.

Patients referred to the council’s Social Prescribing team were also encouraged to join activities at FOCAL which included potting and growing vegetables. The group continues to grow, with the help of a recent Spacehive campaign.

READ MORE: How GPs prescribe Growing Focal to their patients to boost their health and well-being   

Clr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet member for health and social care, said: “I am delighted with this award win. This project has improved the health and wellbeing of residents in Lindley, and this has now been recognised nationally.

“It’s a great example of how our social prescribing link workers in Kirklees have teamed up with health and voluntary sector partners to plant a seed and facilitate the mental wellbeing of residents. Congratulations to the team.” 

Members of Growing Focal said it gave them something to look forward to whilst others who were feeling anxious about joining, said they appreciated the warm welcome they received from staff.

A spokesman for Growing Focal said: “This award is for everyone who attends the group, we just facilitate the relationships, interactions and new friendships. A small project with a huge heart.” 

The volunteer committee at FOCAL Community Centre, has worked hard and has gone from strength to strength and now offers a full range of activities for locals to get involved in from crafts activities to toddler groups and exercise classes.