About Us

UK Social Prescribing Link Worker Network

About Us

National Association of Link Workers is the only and largest UK professional membership network for Social Prescribing Link Workers. We are a vibrant independent grassroots social innovation that serves to increase resilience, professionalism, and connectedness amongst Social Prescribing Link Workers. We produce social impact activities to deliver our cause and social mission. As a social enterprise, our strengths lie in our memberships.

Our cause

Resilient and capable Social Prescribing Link Workers achieving improved quality of life for themselves and the communities they serve.

Social mission Statement

A UK community of practice for all Social Prescribing Link Workers to share learning, build resilience, develop, network and support each other in order to achieve improved quality of life for themselves, their clients/patients and communities.

Vision Statement

To be the UK single point of access for Social Prescribing Link Worker support and development promoting quality and consistency in professional standards and practices

Values Statement

To deliver our social mission and vision, our approach will be guided by our 5 values.

1 Social innovation

We are committed to meeting the needs of link workers now and in the future.

2 Co-production

We listen to what matters to link workers and co-produce solutions.

3 Inclusiveness

We respect people, value diversity and are committed to equality.

4 Collaboration

We are committed to a culture of openness and collaboration to maximise social impact.

5 Professional integrity

We strive to preserve the professional integrity and quality of the link worker profession.

Our Aim

Promote link worker professional standards and practice

Unite the voices of link workers

Increase link worker connectedness

Build link worker capability and resilience

Our Senior Team

Meet the team! National Association of Link Workers is composed of passionate and determined individuals who aspire to bring positive impact to people’s lives. Get to know more about our social innovation team!

Christiana Melam

CEO

Christiana is a social prescribing enthusiast. She has been ‘linking’ or ‘connecting’ in her community all her life, whether; in a paid capacity with a previous career in public health and health promotion or volunteer capacity as a patient and public voice representative or health services liaison.

It is her knowledge and experience of inequalities, that highlighted for her just how important the role of a link worker is but also that it needed help to maintain its professional integrity, in order to help reduce inequalities.

She is an advocate for social change, social justice, inclusion, coproduction, grassroots approaches, empowering people and reducing inequality. She has achieved particular success in community engagement, implementing targeted interventions for “hard to reach” and “at risk groups” to reduce health inequalities, and developing the often overlooked paid and volunteer workforce in health and social care.

This success is the result of her approachable, inspiring and enthusiastic nature, ability to bridge points of view and varied subject matter expertise – all of which boosts engagement and morale.

She was recognised by the mayor of London as one of the women that make London great in 2019 and was a finalist in the Social Enterprise UK awards for the ‘Women in Social Enterprise’ category.

Christiana holds masters in Public Health & Health Promotion.

Jo Pogson

Development Lead

Jo is an experienced professional development facilitator, trainer and coach. Her passion is people and unlocking their drive and motivation to be at the top of their chosen field.

Her professional experience includes; delivering care navigation and social prescribing workshops in the NHS, change/service redesign at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, delivering bespoke leadership programmes for Surrey County Council, Oxfordshire County Council and British Library, delivering workshops for medical professionals delivering terminal diagnoses, Career coaching for the Armed Forces at Commander and Rear Admiral level.

Jo has a reputation for being compassionate yet commercially aware and has a business focussed approach. She coaches using a variety of approaches including GROW; EQ Coaching and OSKAR (solutions focussed coaching) and can flex her style appropriate to the situation.

Her background as a police officer and merchant navy sailor has instilled an ethos of a strongly outcome orientated approach whilst giving her an appreciation of the nuances required when meeting people in their most challenging moments. She delivers inspiring developmental programmes that meet organisational objectives; increase competence and produces a superior customer experience.

Joanna Wajszczuk

Reflective Practice Lead

Joanna is a qualified UKCP and EAP registered Gestalt psychotherapist working and runs her private practice in London. She initially trained as a psychologist at London Guildhall University and then completed a four-year post graduate Gestalt Psychotherapist training in Poland.

However, before becoming a psychotherapist, she worked in various social care settings such as mental health, domestic violence, outreach family support and project management. One of her roles involved setting up and running a social prescribing project based on co-operative work between Mind in Camden and Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She remains connected to social prescribing field and continue to run monthly supervision sessions for volunteer Link Workers.

She is delighted to be involved in facilitating peer group clinical supervision for Link Workers and creating a save space to connect, learn from each other and develop.

Meena Bhagat

Research Lead

Meena has worked in market and social research for over twenty years and is skilled in both qualitative and quantitative research. She has worked with a variety of health and social care clients including the National Association of Link Workers, NHS Confederation, Newham CCG, Perthshire Well Being Cooperative, Island Health Trust and the League of Fitness. Other clients include Dyson Ltd, Stagecoach, Red Cross and Shell UK. She has a master’s in research and a postgraduate certificate in Research Skills.

Advisory Board

Our advisory board works together quarterly to advise on in-depth strategies for the National Association of Link workers. They propel our association as a whole in the right direction to reach our objectives; specifically in terms of our cause, social missions, vision, and values.

Kelly Austin

MEMBER

Kelly’s journey into social prescribing really started when she joined the GP practice, then known as Sawston Medical Practice 9 years ago, as a receptionist. During her time in this role she helped facilitate community weight loss groups, set up walking groups and became the Carers co-ordinator. She then moved into clinical coding which gave her a real insight into how other aspects as well as medical issues can affect patients.


In early 2018 Granta, now a group of 5 merged Practices and patient population of 44,000, secured funding from our local District and County councils for a social prescribing service to be launched, an opportunity that she jumped at. The service is now 9 months into the initial 2 years funded pilot and with the new NHS plans and GP contracts it looks set to continue. Joining the advisory board has really given her a platform to help shape the way the social prescribing service works and has been an enormous privilege.


Out of work, she is a married mum of two boys and have lots of animals! She is also a qualified dancing for fitness instructor, this has also lead to her to undertaking the Strength and Balance instructor training later this year. She likes to challenge herself doing long distance charity walks.

Roseann Logan

MEMBER

Roseann joined The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (The ALLIANCE) in February 2014 as the Community Links Manager with the Links Worker Programme, a highly innovative and unique programme that aims to support people to live well through strengthening links between primary care and community resources.

Roseann has always had a passion for working with people and especially within the field of mental health and qualified as a mental health nurse in the early 90’s. Since then she has worked within different Third Sector organisations in a variety of management roles setting up new and innovative services within a challenging and changing Social Care environment.

With over 20 years’ experience within Third Sector organisations the fresh challenge of this programme and role has given Roseann the opportunity to use her experiences and knowledge and share them with colleagues from different sectors.

Sara Godoli

MEMBER

Sara works as an integrative psychotherapist and counsellor in private practice as well as being employed by MIND in CAMDEN as a social prescribing link worker for a partnership project with CAMDEN & ISLINGTON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST. Her current social prescribing role is embedded within the Trust’s Mental Health Advice and Assessment Team.

Born in Italy, Sara moved to the UK 20 years ago. She is a passionate believer in social justice and has always been involved in the voluntary community sector, in a paid and non-paid capacity.

Sara has a keen interest in mental health which developed from her work in the voluntary community sector. She is particularly passionate in finding creative ways to empower people to own and tell their story as to bring about a multitude of voices, perspectives and practices.

She has a university degree in Sociology and Anthropology and worked for Oxfam for many years prior to her post-graduate in Psychotherapy.

She is a mum of two children and needs to be outdoors and as much as she can, she spends time toiling the soil in her allotment.

Margaret V Mulley

MEMBER

Margaret is an independent consultant working with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice to support faculty colleagues to move research into practice through learning programmes that spread health care delivery science globally. She previously served as adjunct Lecturer at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Before joining Dartmouth, Margaret was a Senior Audit Partner for more than 30 years at Deloitte where she served as Americas Lead Partner for Emerging Growth Client Services, Managing Partner for Strategy, Innovation, Communication and Marketing for the Audit and Enterprise Risk Consulting groups, and as an elected Member of the Board of Directors.

From 2009, Margaret served as Deloitte’s Chief Learning Officer, leading an organizational transformation with a professional team responsible for developing the technical, professional and leadership learning for more than 14,000 auditors and risk consultants. She played a senior leadership role in the successful launch of Deloitte University.

Jane Soothill

Jane Soothill

MEMBER

Jane has a PhD in the anthropology of religion and gender. She has published a book and articles that think critically about agency and empowerment for marginalised peoples.

Jane also worked as a volunteer adviser at Citizens Advice where she became interested in the challenges and complexities of peoples’ lives.

Since the beginning of 2019 Jane has been involved in social prescribing, initially as a link worker in Guildford and Waverley where she helped to establish a new service.

Currently she is working with Surrey County Council to develop and evaluate social prescribing across the county.

Champions

Meet our National and Regional Champions. They have proven outstanding commitment to providing localised leadership and support to Link Workers.

Adrianna Jones

REGIONAL CHAMPION-LONDON

Adrianna joined Merton Voluntary Service Council as a Social Prescribing Coordinator in 2018, she was welcomed to the team after their successful Social Prescribing pilot between 2016-2017.

Since then she has been promoted to Senior Social Prescribing Coordinator, where she has picked up more responsibilities within the team including Peer mentorship. Adrianna has studied Psychology & Counselling BSc at the University of Roehampton and is able to use her bachelor’s degree in context when dealing with her vulnerable patients.

Leading up to her Social Prescribing role, she has worked for non-profit organisations such as Hestia, Age UK and an NHS CCG. In February 2020, Adrianna was appointed as the London Regional Social Prescribing Link Worker Champion for NALW. Through this rewarding role, she has been able to provide localised leadership and support to link workers within her region and continues to do so.

 

Deborah Clark

NATIONAL CHAMPION- SCOTLAND

Since moving to Edinburgh in 2011, from her hometown of Fort William, Deborah has volunteered and worked in the Third Sector in a range of positions before starting as a Link Worker in 2015. She has been based in a number of practices across South West Edinburgh and is determined to bridge the gap between Primary Care and the Third Sector and believes that working in partnership is key.

Deborah is also the Community Link Worker Team Lead for South West Edinburgh and enjoys building a strong team culture where everyone strives to get the best out of themselves and the people they support.

Out of work Deborah enjoys playing the fiddle and cooking for family and friends.

Danielle Lally

REGIONAL CHAMPION-NORTH WEST

I have an extensive background in health promotion working in differing regions of the North West at both local authority and NHS covering the early years to later life.

I have always implemented social prescribing to the work I do as I believe that a person may better reach their goal and improve their health if they have the correct support in place to eliminate any barriers that are holding them back.

I have successfully obtained a First Class BSc from University of Chester in Physical Activity and Health as well as a MSc in Sport, Leadership and Management where I extensively studied behaviour change. I enjoy all aspects of behaviour change and enjoy helping people change their behaviour to help improve their health.

I am excited to be at the start of the Social Prescribing journey and look forward to seeing the difference it makes to our local communities.

Bronagh Cooper

NATIONAL CHAMPION- NORTHERN IRELAND

SPRING Social Prescribing Co-ordinator for the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum.

Bronagh has worked in the community and voluntary sector for the past 10 years, based in two healthy living centres in the Derry area. Throughout this time, Bronagh has gained a wealth of experience supporting individuals on a one to one capacity, designing & planning programmes and activities with improving individuals’ health and well-being at the forefront.

Bronagh’ educational pathway, from a young age, lead her to her current role in the SPRING Social Prescribing Project.

Bronagh holds a BSc Hons Degree in Sociology and Social Policy

Sean Macfarlane

NATIONAL CHAMPION-SCOTLAND/NORTHERN IRELAND

I have over 18 years’ experience working within the health and social care sector, both as a manager and a practitioner in the voluntary sector, this includes 14 years working for Sense Scotland supporting adults with additional support needs including; learning difficulties, physical disabilities and sensory impairment.

I joined Your Voice in July 2016 as a Community Connector within Inverclyde, Scotland. Since January 2019 I have held the position of SPRING Social Prescribing Co-ordinator within Your Voice.

I am passionate about social prescribing and fine my current role both challenging and rewarding, making a positive difference to people’s lives remains close to my heart. Working alongside statutory services, 3rd sector and networking with community based partners and assets is really proving to create a positive impact in people who live in Inverclyde’s general health and wellbeing and reducing unnecessary demand on traditional services.

I have a level 4 health and social care qualification and also British Sign Language level 2 qualification.

Kelly Austin

REGIONAL CHAMPION- EAST OF ENGLAND

Kelly’s journey into social prescribing really started when she joined the GP practice, then known as Sawston Medical Practice 9 years ago, as a receptionist. During her time in this role she helped facilitate community weight loss groups, set up walking groups and became the Carers co-ordinator. She then moved into clinical coding which gave her a real insight into how other aspects as well as medical issues can affect patients.


In early 2018 Granta, now a group of 5 merged Practices and patient population of 44,000, secured funding from our local District and County councils for a social prescribing service to be launched, an opportunity that she jumped at. The service is now 9 months into the initial 2 years funded pilot and with the new NHS plans and GP contracts it looks set to continue. Joining the advisory board has really given her a platform to help shape the way the social prescribing service works and has been an enormous privilege.


Out of work, she is a married mum of two boys and have lots of animals! She is also a qualified dancing for fitness instructor, this has also lead to her to undertaking the Strength and Balance instructor training later this year. She likes to challenge herself doing long distance charity walks.

Marie Adams

REGIONAL CHAMPION- South East

Coming soon

Veronica Kuperman

REGIONAL CHAMPION- South West of England

Coming soon

Coming soon

REGIONAL CHAMPION-NORTH East

Coming soon

Coming soon

REGIONAL CHAMPION-YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER

Coming soon

Coming soon

REGIONAL CHAMPION SOUTH EAST

Coming soon