C.A.R.E. (Herefordshire) CIC (01981 240235)
Founded by Sonya Cary, this pioneering social enterprise, now in its fourth year and going
strong, exists to help the older generation. She explains, ‘As people grow older, they can
become invisible in society. Issues such as illness, reduced mobility or bereavement can
significantly affect their ability to leave home, socialise and feel part of the community’.
One of the current projects CARE is involved with is ‘Social Prescribing’
Sometimes referred to as community referral, this is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other
primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services.
Social Prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. It also aims to support
individuals to take greater control of their own health.
Social prescribing schemes can involve a variety of activities which are typically provided by
voluntary and community sector organisations. Examples include volunteering, social activities,
befriending, cookery, healthy eating advice and a range of sports.
The operation is based around a post office, shop and café, which is becoming a local hub. During a
recent visit, I saw the project, and Sonya, in action. A frail gentleman came in needing help. An
official looking letter suggested the phone line was to be cut off, and he was less bewildered. How
could he keep in touch with family in distant places? Sonya was soon on the case, interpreting
official text, and providing reassurance. She truly is an asset to the community.
The hub has great free parking provision and a range of essentials such as milk and bread to some of
life’s luxuries. The shop sustains the operation and is itself an asset. Sonya, you are one of our
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