Colour your Life is a ‘social prescribing’ service funded by Durham County Council Public Health Department. ‘Social prescribing’ is a health service term for the linking of people with non-medical sources of support from within the community. Colour your Life in County Durham provides access to creative and informal learning activities for the improvement of mental health and the development of emotional resilience. An outreach programme is delivered at a range of community venues and weekly courses take place at four ‘Hubs’ based in Newton Aycliffe, Stanley, Peterlee and Barnard Castle. Activities on offer include:
- Arts on Prescription – arts activities promoting positive mental health and wellbeing
- Learning on Prescription – learning through conversation, exploration and experience of various subjects and mediums
- Volunteering Opportunities – giving time to do something useful whilst learning new skills and helping others
- Ecotheraphy – improving health through the natural environment
- Bibliotherapy – using books, stories and poems to make people feel better about themselves and others
- Time Banks – deposit time helping others and withdrawing time when help is needed
Local voluntary sector organisations with knowledge and understanding of the community, are delivering on this programme. All of whom aim to improve the health and wellbeing of County Durham residents and will ensure that services are designed to meet local needs. The service is open to referrals from GP’s, mental health services, health and care professions, third sector and community organisations, statutory agencies and self-referrals.
Project Report September 2014
Following a successful 3 year delivery of Colour your Life with Arts on Prescription from June 2011 until March 2014 a consortium of partners led by the Pioneering Care Partnership won a new tender from Durham County Councils Public Health Department to deliver an enhanced programme under the Colour Your Life banner now described as Social Prescribing. Delivery began on 1st June 2014 and includes arts, education, volunteering and timebanking.
References and reference materials
Promo film – https://vimeo.com/72759470#
Promo film on Vimeo Channel http://vimeo.com/72749077