Member Spotlight – Saera Haque
Meet Saera, Social Prescribing Link Worker at 1Thornton Heath PCN.
Please summarise your role responsibilities
Supporting patients non-medically by signposting them to local provision and assisting them in that process. Developing a locally based asset map of provision in Thornton Heath and beyond. Developing and maintaining partnerships with voluntary sector organisations, community groups and community focused multi agency initiatives.
Offering a arrange of support to grass root projects including funding applications, identifying premises, and linking with wider initiatives. Supporting the development of a Link Worker network and mentoring new Link Worker colleagues.
What is your most significant accomplishment in your role?
Helping to establish the Link Worker service in Thornton Heath and being able to offer a bespoke and important services to individual patients. This has included being able to support a single mother and her baby who were homeless to access accommodation and get set up with benefits through working in partnership with other organisations.
What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
The biggest challenge I am facing right now is the worrying growth of mental ill health and isolation amongst many patients. The pandemic has had a huge impact on many people in this respect and the services are struggling to respond as they would wish. Supporting individuals to access services that are right for them is an enormous and important task.
Do you have any words of wisdom for Social Prescribing Link Workers and/or Social Prescribing Programmes?
Know that the work we do is rewarding, however if you ever feel overwhelmed do not be afraid to ask for help and support from your peers, mentors, or managers.
What do you do for fun when not working?
I bake, read, and attend mindfulness sessions.
How does National Association of Link Workers add value to Social Prescribing and Link Workers?
It adds immense value as being a member allows continuous professional development with the wide range of courses available and can collate CPD points. It also allows ability to have influence, to meet more Social Prescribing Link Workers in other regions. It also allows us to be able to tap into all the other opportunities available to help us develop our practice.
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