COMMUNITY groups that make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged people have welcomed financial support.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has teamed up with Cheshire Community Foundation to deliver a new initiative aimed at helping disadvantaged people.

The Positive Steps Social Prescribing Grants Programme has already begun to make a difference to projects working with isolated and vulnerable individuals, many of whom suffer from mental health issues.

Social prescribing enables GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical voluntary sector services.

Motherwell Cheshire which supports young girls in Winsford with their mental health and wellbeing is one of 10 community projects to receive a grant from the latest round of funding. The money will pay for a wellbeing co-ordinator.

Steve Morgan said: “This programme recognises that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors.

“Social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way and supports individuals to take greater control of their own health.

“Research by the Mental Health Foundation discovered that 78 per cent of GPs had prescribed an antidepressant in the previous three years.

“However, the use of non-medical interventions has been shown to have powerful emotional, cognitive and social benefits.”

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Zoe Sheppard, chief executive officer of Cheshire Community Foundation, which is managing the programme on behalf of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Steve Morgan to deliver this vitally important and ground-breaking programme of support.

“The programme will strengthen the capacity of charitable and voluntary sector organisations to deliver a range of project activities in Crewe and the surrounding area, helping service users referred to them from healthcare professionals.”