Wellbeing (social prescribing)

Social prescribing – or community referral – allows GPs, nurses and other primary care health professionals to refer people to a range of local non-clinical services.
Learners and tutors on social prescribing courses at Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service and outdoor spaces including Walthamstow Wetlands. Composite of four images: learner doing screenprinting, tutor showing a drawing to a learner, the back of an adult outdoors in the rain with an umbrella, a tutor in a raincoat presenting a class under a tree.

Winners of the national Festival of Learning Health and Wellbeing award 2020

Congratulations to our social prescribing team for delivering an award-winning nationally recognised programme!

At the national Festival of Learning ceremony on Tuesday 3 November 2020, the team won the Health and Wellbeing Programme award.

We are very proud of our expert team and all they do for residents. The team works with the NHS, Waltham Forest Social Prescribing and other partners in the borough to provide social prescribing/community referral courses.

This video is from the Festival of Learning awards website which also has quotes from learners and our team.

Outdoor and creative learning

At Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service, we work with Waltham Forest Social Prescribing and other wellbeing organisations. We set up a range of creative and gardening courses at different venues in the borough.

We have been fortunate to work with a range of partners in some of the most beautiful and inspiring green and blue spaces in the borough including Lloyd Park, Walthamstow Wetlands and Epping Forest.

Our courses introduce many learners to the borough’s beautiful outdoor spaces. For example, our plant lovers walks and introduction to gardening courses at Lloyd Park, Epping Forest and
Vestry House Museum gardens.

Our team plans courses to meet Waltham Forest’s wellbeing agenda: ‘connect, be active, learn, take notice and give’. Our courses aim to sustain and enhance the quality of life of our learners. We focus on engaging hard-to-reach learners who may have been put off formal learning because of mental health issues or low confidence.

We have a holistic approach to help improve people’s health, wellbeing and social welfare. Our socially prescribed workshops encourage residents to work together.

From our learners

Christine took one of our six-week creative courses relating to nature. She received her attendance certificate at the inspiring Walthamstow Wetlands:

‘I feel motivated, confident and inspired and I feel rewarded and honoured. I’m happy to share my experience with others in what I have achieved’

Christine, Learner on a socially prescribed course

‘I never socialised with adults of different ages, nationalities and with a range of abilities before. What I have learnt on the course, e.g. printing, drawing and a range of skills, will help when I start to support other learners.’

Lloyd, Learner on a socially prescribed course


To take a social prescribing course, your primary care health professional e.g. GP or nurse, has to refer you to our service. Please ask them to contact us on your behalf if our programme would be right for you.