The first ever Elemental pilot took place in the Creggan Community in Derry. The Old Library Trust Healthy Living Centre was running a social prescribing programme and used Elemental to better empower individuals in co-creating their social prescriptions and keep track of their health risk reduction journey.
“Empowerment is not giving people power, people already have plenty of power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation, to do their jobs magnificently. We define empowerment as letting this power out.” (Blanchard, K)
Following the birth of her son four years ago, Carleen was struggling to lose weight which she had gained during pregnancy, a common challenge faced by many new mums as they work to balance looking after a newborn and managing their own health.
Carleen needed to make lifestyle changes but didn’t know where to start. There was so much information if many different places (notice boards/ leaflets etc) however it was difficult to find out what would help Carleen at this stage in her life.
Through a social prescribing Link Worker in the Old Library Trust Healthy Living Centre, Carleen was identified as being at risk of type 2 diabetes and referred to a local diet and exercise course.
For the first time Carleen understood her health risk and was able to select her social prescription choices using Elemental’s platform and was contacted straight away by the providers. She kept track of her health risk by meeting with her Link Worker every 4 weeks and could see, via Elemental’s Social Prescribing Platform, her risk-reducing in the form of an easy to understand graph on the system. She was able to use Elemental to change her social prescription choices easily, keeping the Link Worker and GP informed.
As a result of taking part in the programme, Carleen lost over a stone in weight and significantly reduced her body fat percentage by making positive lifestyle changes.
“I was informed and aware of my health improvement journey throughout the programme having access to Elemental. The social prescribing programme made such a difference to my life and helped me to feel so much better about myself. It gave me a real understanding of nutrition, how my body absorbs food and how to eat a more healthy, balanced diet, as well as giving me the chance to take part in exercise classes to boost my fitness. I just needed to realise and track my risk and have a say in its prevention. I have that now thanks to Elemental”
“Carleen’s story is a great example of the benefits of social prescribing in action and its potential to transform lives. When the Elemental co-founders developed Elemental, it was vital that the platform tackled health and wellbeing inequalities and demonstrated the real impact that engaging in health programmes and services can bring. Through our experience in designing and delivering community health programmes, we often found that people just don’t know what services are out there for them to access, but examples like Carleen’s show that with support to access them, the benefits can be long-lasting.”
Leeann Monk, Elemental Co-Founder