Here in Roscommon LEADER Partnership we value the importance of community and social inclusion.

We believe that nobody should be left behind. That’s why in 2021 we started a Social Prescribing Project known as Roscommon Well Connected Project.

The aim of this project was to refer individuals in the county to non-clinical supports and interventions around the locality with the aim of improving their physical and mental wellbeing.

Our Roscommon Service is free of charge and open to anyone who feels they need support to become more engaged with their community.

To access our Well Connected Project, individuals can ask their local General Practitioner (GP) or local health services to refer them to the project coordinator.

For example, I have gotten referrals from Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Community Organisations throughout the county (Brothers Of Charity & Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme {SICAP}).

If a person hears about the project through other local means, they can also refer themselves onto the project by directly contacting the project coordinator.

Social Prescribing benefits individuals by reducing isolation & loneliness, which is the main reason people are referred to the service.

This is done by supporting the individuals to link with social activities within their community. For example, linking a person with a walking group allows a person to not only meet new people and socialise, but to also increase their levels of physical activity which has a wide range of benefits in itself.

Some of the other supports also allow an individual to learn a new skill such as dancing, learning an instrument or a new language – the possibilities are endless! All you have to do is tell the coordinator what is important to you and what you would like to do.

Another benefit to this project is that it reduces GP Visits and hospital admissions as people are not going into the doctor as much.

It is important for the Coordinator to make connections through the county in order to link a person into the community. Making connections with these services is so important to help make people aware of the project but also to create a network of people where we can further support and strengthen people who need the support the most.

One of the biggest issues at the moment is transport. A lot of the referrals come from very rural areas in the county and don’t drive. There is limited transport in these areas for the individual to access the services that they have been linked with as they tend to be in more urban areas such as Roscommon Town.

These may be 2 possible solutions to this issue. Create a social group (Reading, Music, Art, Talking) with people in that specific area and have them meet every week in that local area. Or try and arrange a local/rural link near to their area where they can be picked up and brought to the town.

In the past this project has seen some very positive outcomes with individuals saying that their overall wellbeing had increased within 3 months of engage in an activity. Imagine what they would be like in half a year!

With this continued support and networking we can help to improve the lives of so many individuals through the county.


Written By Michaela Deane Huggins – Social Prescriber/ Roscommon Well Connect Project Coordinator, Roscommon Leader Partnership, Roscommon Ireland