C.P.J. Field, the UK’s longest running funeral directors, has just opened brand-new Heritage and Sons funeral homes in the heart of Aylesbury and Tring, supporting its core mission of providing essential support to local communities. The new funeral homes are facilitating social prescribing events within the community as a way of combating the symptoms of loneliness and isolation. Social prescribing connects vulnerable people to emotional and everyday community support and can include a range of local, non-clinical activities and initiatives created to improve patient’s health and wellbeing.
The benefits of social prescribing have been clinically proven, in fact, NHS England has committed to building the infrastructure for social prescribing in primary care, with the target of at least 900,000 people being referred to social prescribing by 2023/24. This is part of the drive to Universal Personalised Care that will see at least 2.5 million people benefiting from personalised care by 23/24. This is the biggest investment in social prescribing by any national health system and legitimises community-based activities and support alongside medical treatment as part of personalised care.
C.P.J. Field has facilitated many social prescribing events over the years and its new Heritage and Sons funeral home is no different, hosting a number of weekly and fortnightly social prescribing events within the Aylesbury and Tring communities. For example, they organise Communi-tea Friends sessions, giving residents the opportunity to come and have a cuppa, chat and a chance to connect with others.
Many local residents are already feeling the benefits of social prescribing in the Aylesbury community, such as Wendy Goddard, who commented: ‘At first, I was really nervous because I had not been out for a long time. The other people are very friendly and now I feel happy to attend without a carer. I now have more confidence and have something to look forward to. I very much enjoy going to Communi-tea every Wednesday, I get dressed nicely and really look forward to seeing everyone. I feel normal again.’
Community Champion for Buckinghamshire, Maria Butler commented: ‘For a number of years now, we have been putting on events in the local communities we serve to help tackle loneliness and build links between people in their local communities, from monthly coffee mornings, mindfulness workshops, knit and natter groups, gardening and book clubs, lunch clubs, inter-generational coffee mornings and much more.
‘C.P.J. Field not only cares for those who have died, but also those who are left behind after a bereavement. Our events, that have been signposted as social prescribing solutions by healthcare professionals, work to combat loneliness as even a brief interaction with another person can brighten someone’s day.
‘On any given week, we can have upward of 15 people coming to our events to make connections with the wider community. We welcome anyone living in the region to come along.’
Ros Shorrocks, Area Facilitator at Age UK has also commented on the benefits of social prescribing: ‘Age UK Buckinghamshire is pleased to work with local groups which support and encourage older people in the community to stay active and to make regular connections through social prescribing. Having a date in the diary to meet people for a relaxed chat is good for morale and has clinical benefits for many people who suffer from symptoms caused by loneliness and isolation. The Communi-tea group in Princes Risborough library is very friendly and welcoming and I am confident that if I recommend it to one of my clients, they will soon be making new friends and enjoying a hot drink in a safe and warm environment.’
Please find below a list of upcoming social prescribing events organised by C.P.J Field in both Aylesbury and Tring:
- Every Tuesday:
- Wendover – Bridging the Gap: 10am-12noon and 1.30-3pm (weekly – afternoon session restarts at the end of September)
- Every Wednesday:
- Buckinghamshire New University – Knit & Natter sessions from 10.30am-12noon (weekly starting from 26 July 2023)
- Thursday 27 July:
- Chartwell Manor care home Communi-tea Friends: 1.30-3pm (fortnightly)
- Every Wednesday:
- St Michaels Aston Clinton – Communi-tea Friends: 1.30-3pm (weekly)
- Monday 25 September
- The Grand Junction, Buckingham – Communi-tea Friends (Every 4th Monday of the month)