Northumberland CVA has been asked to disseminate the following information on behalf of Northumberland County Council:


1. What is VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund?

The VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund is part of a wider new VCSE Health and Wellbeing Programme. Each year the fund will be will be themed around a specific topic for each round. For 2017-18 this is social prescribing. Social prescribing means different things to different people, however, the Social Prescribing Network’s co-produced definition is: “Enabling healthcare professionals to refer patients to a link worker, to co-design a nonclinical social prescription to improve their health and wellbeing.” Social prescribing is generally understood to be an intervention through which people are supported to access non-medical services in the community. Examples include befriending, art classes and exercise classes, but a wide variety of activities can be included. Typically, a community navigator/link worker will work with the individual to co-produce solutions that best suit their needs. A range of terms are sometimes used for the community navigator/link worker, including health advisor, wellbeing coordinator and community connector. The community navigator/link worker role is a key element within successful social prescribing models.  Therefore we require all applications to demonstrate how their scheme will support this role. Organisations are invited to bid for funding of up to £300,000 for the first year of their scheme. This is a maximum and when applications are assessed consideration will be given to the scale and scope of schemes in relation to the amount of funding requested. They expect to be able to announce successful schemes in December 2017 and release the first grant payment once all documentation signed by local partners is provided.

2. Eligibility

  • Work in England, be not for profit and be incorporated or a registered charity.
  • In order for your application to be considered your organisation must: Provide evidence of a commitment from “local partners” (see footnote) for resourcing of: 50% in year 2, 80% in year 3 100% in year 4 onwards.  If we receive a high volume of applications, we will do an initial sift based on this criterion.
  • Include the community navigator/link worker role within its social prescribing scheme model.
  • Be able to demonstrate strong established links with “local partners.” They should provide a commitment from the relevant partners of their commitment to develop a Memorandum of Understanding and information governance and risk management agreements.
  • Commit to input experience and share learning with NHS England about measuring the impact of social prescribing.
  • Commit to share learning and contribute evidence towards evaluation of the Fund.
  • Commit to joining the national Social Prescribing Network and, if relevant, their local regional social prescribing network.

Full details on the funding scheme can be found at

3. Approach in Northumberland

We are looking at a phased approach in Northumberland as there is a significant commitment required from the “local partner” which to recap can be:

  • Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group,
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Northumbria Healthcare Trust

The first phase will be submitting the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund 2017 -18 : Social Prescribing Application Form (which can be accessed at to Kirsten Francis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please submit these Application Forms no later than noon Tuesday 31st October. Please put VCSE HWF Phase 1 in the title bar of your email to ensure it is identified.  At this stage there is no need to complete the Eligibility part of Section E but DO complete the Details of Scheme section. There will be a local panel that reflects membership of the VCSE Health and WellBeing Programme, which will make an initial assessment and look to agree and work with up to three applications to go forward to full application and submitted to the HW Fund by noon 21st November.

5. Local Priority/Priorities

“Local Partners” are particularly interested in bids that support Young People in terms of social prescribing - especially in regards to those presenting with low level mental health issues however other topics would be considered as what we want to identify are the strongest, deliverable bids that would achieve the maximum benefit for Northumberland residents.
We will also consider supporting more than one project to go forward for selection as this could increase our chances of getting a successful bid for Northumberland. If you have any queries please contact Kirsten Francis on 01670 624741


It is important that the social prescribing schemes receiving grant funding are sustainable. For this reason, we require applicants to gain support from their local CCG, local authority, STP leadership team or Accountable Care Organisation, to invest in their proposed scheme from year two onwards.  Although the Fund will provide full funding in year one, it is the expectation that the local partner will provide 50% of funding in year two, 80% funding in year three and 100% funding in year four onwards. Applicants will be expected to provide evidence of the agreement with the local partner as part of their application.



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