Working with Social Prescribing to combat inactivity in London

How a partnership between London Sport, University of Kent and three London boroughs is working to combine Social Prescribing and physical activity


A new series of pilot projects taking place across three London boroughs are working to investigate the role of Social Prescribing in challenging physical inactivity in communities across the capital.

Commissioned by London Sport and delivered by experts from the University of Kent, the three initial pilots are underway in Bexley, Kensington & Chelsea, and Islington.

Research conducted for London Sport into the workforce needed to support physically inactive Londoners found that the traditional sporting workforce alone lacked the support and specialist focuses to effectively combat inactivity in isolation.

In working towards achieving the ambitions set-out in last year’s Building a Workforce for the Future – A Strategic Plan of Action for London’s Physical Activity Workforce, these pilot projects will explore the role of a more diverse and community-connected workforce in breaking down barriers to participation.

Across the capital, there is a sizable non-sporting workforce who come into contact with inactive Londoners on a daily basis.

This workforce can be hugely influential with lifestyle advice, but often lack the knowledge, the skills or the confidence regarding physical activity and sport to make it a regular part of their efforts to support community wellbeing improvements.

These pilots have set out to support that non-traditional workforce to utilise existing physical activity and sport avenues, and aim to improve the means by which less active Londoners are able to identify available and access relevant opportunities to take part in activity.

The Social Prescribing sector, which forms the basis of these initial pilots, offers a particularly promising potential to enhance the reach of physical activity into new communities of Londoners.

The pilots, which involve delivery of specialist training and support to three social prescribing programmes, began in summer 2018 with results expected in March 2019.


For more information on our work around London’s physical activity workforce, click here.

To download Building a Workforce for the Future, click here.

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