Social Prescribing for Children and Young People in London

Recently, London Plus, in partnership with Healthy London Partnership (HLP) and Partnership for Young London (PYL), held a very successful ‘Lunch and Learn’ event. The event explored social prescribing for children and young people (CYP) in London. Attendees were from a range of sectors, including the voluntary sector, the NHS as well as local authorities.

In London, social prescribing has generally remained focused on the adult population. However, the pandemic has accelerated the need for people of all ages to access support in their communities. Accordingly, NHS England’s guidance about personalised care and social prescribing highlights this, stating that:

Personalised care takes a whole-system approach, integrating services around the person. It is an all-age model, from maternity and childhood through to end of life, encompassing both mental and physical health support’.

The ‘Lunch and Learn’ Event

Children and young people’s social prescribing is a new and emerging area nationally. It significantly builds on the successful roll-out of social prescribing for the adult population in primary care. Currently, the numbers of children and young people’s social prescribing link workers in-post across London are very small. However, there are active link workers in Enfield, Islington, Hackney, Lambeth, Wandsworth and Waltham Forest.

In our ‘Lunch and Learn’ event, we heard from those involved in major social prescribing projects in London. This included Suzi Griffiths of HLP, who leads the children and young people’s agenda for London. She highlighted that there is a gap for children and young people in social prescribing. This needs to be addressed, as 40% of activity in primary care relates to them. See the attached HLP presentation here [PDF].

Importantly, there is now a strategic commitment in London to develop and expand social prescribing service provision for children and young people. This commitment prioritises provision for people under 18 (or under 25 with special educational needs or disabilities). What’s more, CYP pilots and projects are already underway in several London boroughs, aiming to expand to new test and learn sites in 2022/23.

Another presenter was Dawn Mitchell from Street Games who leads the Social Prescribing Youth Network (SPYN). The SPYN was commissioned by NHS England to develop a national proposal for an all-age model of social prescribing. She also spoke about the free support the network offers for CYP social prescribing, and their four pilot projects across England. Join their network and find out more here.

Finally, we heard from Isledon Islington, who presented several case studies of local referrals for CYP in Islington through their social prescribing pilot programme. See their attached CYP presentation [PDF] for more information.

Our ‘Meet the Network’ events (members only)

London Plus is excited to launch a free online networking event series exclusively for London Social Prescribing Network members. If you would like to attend these networking events, become a member for free by signing up on the London Social Prescribing Network Homepage.

Resources and More

For information and support related to CYP social prescribing, please see the links below.

Healthy London Partnership brings together a network of stakeholders involved in or interested in children and young people’s social prescribing in London. If you would like to take part, please email

Partnership for Young London‘s website has a range of free training programmes and resources related to CYP social prescribing. You can also sign up on the website to receive their weekly youth policy, practice and funding newsletter.

Additionally, if you are interested in Youth Work qualifications, please contact

London Youth also facilitates training sessions and networks for the voluntary youth sector to connect and discuss key issues affecting their work. See their latest dates for networking opportunities.