Social Prescribing and the potential of Historic England's local delivery

Historic England commissioned SQW to examine examples of social prescribing in the heritage sector and explore opportunities for expansion, through research delivered from April to October 2020. Historic England are keen to explore different mechanisms for delivering wellbeing to individuals and communities, while addressing inequalities and promoting inclusivity.

The study involved document reviews, consultations with staff from Historic England and stakeholders in the wider social prescribing and heritage sectors, and the development of four case studies of wellbeing-related heritage projects with potential to deliver social prescribing.

The findings indicate real appetite and potential for social prescribing to achieve positive outcomes and address health inequalities through projects related to heritage. Following the study's recommendations, Historic England established a new partnership with the National Academy for Social Prescribing, addressing the need to develop relationships with the healthcare sector and external partners. This is running in parallel with Historic England's adoption of a forthcoming wellbeing strategy. The study also led to a poster presentation of the findings and learnings by SQW and Historic England at the International Social Prescribing Network Conference.

The final report, including executive summary and four case studies, is available here.