Lambeth social prescribing and community development programme Project Smith, has had a positive impact on the community according to a recent evaluation. Through Project Smith, Lambeth Council and NHS Lambeth CCG, work with Lambeth residents at street and neighbourhood level to support the community and its people.
Project Smith started in 2017 and is made up of the Lambeth Wellbeing Fund and the Community Connector programme.
The Lambeth Wellbeing Fund is a small-grants fund that supports a range of activities, which can be grouped into the four broad categories: physical activity, arts and crafts, community activities, and digital / IT skills. The evaluation revealed
that all the small-grants-funded projects have been able to report positive change for the people participating in their activities.
The Community Connector programme has around 80 Community Connectors working at street and neighbourhood level acting as instruments for change for others. These are local people who give their time to support individuals and connect them to each other, as well as to relevant community groups and statutory services.
The positive benefits for Community Connectors revealed in the evaluation included increased social connections and reduction in isolation, increased sense of belonging, increased sense of meaning and purpose, improved physical health and mental health and increased confidence. Benefits were also reported by ‘connectees’ in Lambeth’s communities as a result of their interactions with their Community Connector. These benefits included increased access to the services and activities they needed through effective signposting; increased social connections and feeling more connected within the community.
You can find out more about Project Smith and read the full findings of the evaluation below:
You can also watch the video below to hear firsthand from some of the Community Connectors about how the programme has helped them and made a difference to the community.