Social prescribing in action: helping refugees from East Africa and other Arabic speakers

Social prescribing is a means by which people can be referred to non-clinical activities designed to support health and wellbeing.
Community Language Support Services staff

Community Language Support Services

Community Language Support Services (CLSS) is a registered charity based in Finsbury Park. It was set up to help speakers of community languages, especially refugees from east Africa and other Arabic speakers, to access mainstream services such as health, education, welfare, housing, and legal services.

‘Most of our clients heard about our service through word of mouth, mostly through friends and family. They're able to get the help they need. That's because our support is given in a community setting, and in their first language.'

Wezenet Haille, Coordinator, Community Language Support Services

Social prescribing and navigation case study: Knitting Classes

Jasmine* was looking for a job or a volunteering opportunity but was struggling with her confidence. CLSS (Community Language Support Services) referred her to Islington iWork, an employment service, to help her search for opportunities to teach knitting and sewing classes. iWork put her forward for a training course which, when completed, will give her an advanced certificate in sewing and knitting. In the meantime CLSS have given her the chance to volunteer for them, teaching knitting classes for a group of their clients. She is using her skills, giving back to the community, and increasing her employment prospects.

Fatimah* was feeling lonely. She is isolated from the rest of her family, who are in Italy. CLSS encouraged Fatimah to join their knitting group. She has begun attending the knitting classes and is enjoying herself, feeling less lonely, and building new friendships. Fatimah and her child also suffer from poor vision, so CLSS gave her the help she needed to complete a medical assessment form for housing. This will help her to find suitable accommodation.

Jasmine and Fatimah's names have been changed

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