#SocialPrescribingJanuary A day in the life of a well-being coordinator – Rhian Huws, Wellbeing 4U
It’s quite hard to describe what we do. There’s no typical day or client stereotype. We may be sat in the same GP surgery room but the person who walks through the door and the set of challenges they face are always unique.
My task here, though, is to guide the uninitiated through the kind of social prescribing we at Wellbeing 4U practise on a daily basis. It might help to imagine a rather surreal game show or contest, where the prize can be very small or literally life changing.
The path to success is different for every player; their strengths and weaknesses singular. The host of the show is a (mostly) cheerful, knowledgeable, encouraging matchmaker (aiming to facilitate the perfect fit of services, activities or information).
Team members listen, support and connect people and when it’s too hard for their client to know where to begin they become coaches spending time encouraging and supporting until that person is ready to take the first steps in moving forward towards their end goal, their prize.
The stakes can often be high, as clients referred to us might be very anxious or depressed, have long-term health conditions and need to lose weight; they may struggle financially or have housing concerns, be battling harmful behaviours or experience social isolation and loneliness.
They might be carers, be in an abusive relationship or be refugees who have survived trauma and harrowing experiences. They all have their own set of circumstances and barriers. Our role is to listen and offer the right support and guidance.
What drives the wellbeing coordinator is a desire to help and have the people we see feel better, battle through and have their victories, whatever that may look like for them. We’re often out of our comfort zones, going above and beyond the job description: delivering courses, workshops, health walks, participating in community events, helping people get to places that would otherwise be inaccessible, jogging alongside mobility scooters and even wearing turkey hats at a charity event!
We’ve done it all in the name of supporting our clients. This game of life we all play is full of pitfalls and traps, trick questions and defeats but with the right kind of encouragement it’s possible to win a few prizes along the way.