Blog post

Making social prescribing everybody's business

By Daisy King and Alex Ogando - 9 March 2022

Social prescribing has evolved over the last couple of years in the health sector and takes a whole person approach to care, supporting people to access services in their community.

It’s estimated that one in five people who go to see their GP are troubled by things  that can’t be cured by medical treatment, or medical treatment alone. Individuals may be affected by debt, stress, unemployment, grief, or loneliness, areas that impact a person’s wellbeing and require personalised support. Social prescribing is aptly designed to help address the wide range of factors that negatively affect health, by seeking solutions from within our communities that can be prescribed alongside medication, or exclusively.

What is social prescribing?

Social prescribing refers to the act of guiding people to community initiatives that may promote their wellbeing, increase socialisation, and raise aspirations. This can be anything from singing to swimming, cooking to conservation, luncheon clubs to libraries. Social prescribing is done by a Social Prescribing Link Worker located in your GP surgery, but it can also be done by anyone whose work brings them into contact with people. Therefore, it is important to explore where else social prescribing could take place and how we can utilise it within our roles, inside and outside of health professions – making every contact count!

The National Social Prescribing Student Champion Scheme is made up of a network of Medics and Allied Health Professions students across the UK. Our shared intention is to raise awareness of social prescribing and how we can help make it everybody’s business regardless of professional sector - highlighting its importance within creative arts, education, health, sports, and social care settings (to name a few!).

Who are we?

We are Daisy King, an Occupational Therapy student, and Alex Ogando, a Dramatherapy student. We are the student reps for the University of Derby representing the Allied Health Professions (AHP). The opportunity to join the programme was shared and promoted by the University. This year, the scheme's application process was extended to include AHP students from across the country and we were lucky enough to join the first cohort of 40 AHP champions. Our motivation for joining the scheme comes from our personal experiences within community settings, and the positive impact community groups can have on health and wellbeing. 

Daisy King, Occupational Therapy MSc

Before joining my occupational therapy course, I worked for the Faith and Belief Forum, an Interfaith Organisation which brought different community groups together to discuss identity. By bringing groups from all walks of life together, I learnt first-hand how important connecting to local people and places was. I spoke to gardening volunteers, religious groups, members of an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course and panel members on a housing association board to name just a few!

The reason and meaning for being part of these groups differed but the impact these interactions had on people’s wellbeing united everyone. Being a student rep has helped me to think more creatively about how to connect people with their communities and the importance of this. I have learnt how aligned social prescribing and occupational therapy values are and how I can apply the tools I have been given through this opportunity as I start my career.

Alex Ogando, Dramatherapy MA

Social prescribing is something I have been very passionate about, and involved with, for a number of years. I was, therefore, really excited to have this opportunity come to my attention through my course lead. I myself have been very lucky to lead on the delivery of socially prescribed arts activities in different parts of the country, with an array of communities, both online and in person.

My background is in community engagement, theatre-making, and facilitation. Therefore, I have had the privilege of witnessing first hand just how incredibly impactful an hour of creativity and connection can be for individual health and wellbeing. Medication is extremely important to overall physical and mental health, but so is experiencing meaningful moments of joy, participation, and belonging - which the arts can facilitate for people.

I think both approaches are complementary and can co-exist to offer a more holistic and effective approach to individual and community health and wellbeing. My faith in the efficacy of more creative, person-centred care is one of the primary reasons I decided to pursue my career in Dramatherapy with the University of Derby.

I wasn’t anticipating having this additional opportunity to explore the role social prescribing plays in that, as part of my learning experience, so I’m over the moon to be a student rep for the scheme! I will be able to put this invaluable experience on my CV, and talk about it with prospective employers, as I enter a new professional field as a graduate. I’m really grateful for that.

If you want to find out more about social subscribing, you can email Daisy at or Alex at 

And you can join in the conversation: 

About the author

Daisy King and Alex Ogando

Daisy King and Alex Ogando
Allied Health Professions student reps

Daisy King, an MSc Occupational Therapy student, and Alex Ogando, an MA Dramatherapy student, are the student reps for the University of Derby representing the Allied Health Professions (AHP).