NALW Council

NALW Council

The NALW Council serves as a representative body, offering overall guidance and overseeing NALW’s overarching objectives and mission. This involves shaping policies, practices, and standards for the Social Prescribing Link Worker profession. The council comprises nationally elected representatives from the devolved nations and members appointed from NALW’s executive board and other committees.

Meeting Dates

23rd January 2024

13th Feb 2024

22nd May 2024

July TBC

September TBC

November TBC

Meeting Papers

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NALW Council Members

Marie Adams

Nationally Elected Council Member & Chair

Marie believes Social Prescribing is the future of NHS healthcare, not in isolation but as an integral part of the NHS plan. It is not an emergency service; it is here to support and encourage patients to take action for their own health.

Social Prescribers are approachable, understanding, creative, and want the best outcomes for their patients. They are knowledgeable about what is available within the local communities and what could be commutable, and they are aware of the gaps that exist. While patients are unsure of starting something new or engaging in an activity, Social Prescribers are there listening and encouraging.

To ensure this essential service is developed even further, she is delighted to become an elected council member to ensure they are represented to ensure there is training and skill development, career progression, and funding.

Laura McEwing

Nationally Elected Council Member & Vice Chair

Sometimes all people want is to be acknowledged and for that to be acted upon. It might seem like an oversimplified solution to some very complex issues, but it has been tried, tested, and it works. Laura believes it is the way ahead.

She was a single mother of two children, now part of a blended family. She started her career journey by volunteering in the local community and community council. She studied at Glasgow University, gaining a B.A. in Community Development. Her different work roles have included youth work/detached street work, mental health project support worker, and finally Health Improvement NHS Practitioner before becoming a community links practitioner four years ago. She watched the Community Links Practitioner role develop and the Links Worker Programme grow in Glasgow and further afield and could see the difference it made; she very much wanted to be a part of it. She still volunteers for a few charities.

Her own journey would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for others supporting and helping to signpost and navigate her through what can be a confusing maze of services and opportunities. She felt then as she does now, passionate about the Community Links Practitioner role, in the way of equitably supporting people one-to-one/health center staff/communities with social issues which can impact on everyone’s health and wellbeing. She does not think or believe that this is a stand-alone solution but knows that working collaboratively to address issues, by working as a team and sharing experiences and information, can change and make a difference to people’s lives.

She is delighted to be a nationally elected council member to represent the role in Scotland

Lydia Hulme

Nationally Elected Council Member

I started working for the NHS in 2018 as a Continuous Improvement Officer, facilitating formal improvement initiatives with teams across secondary care. I was particularly passionate about this role having been treated by the NHS through a period of ill health between 2013 and 2015. This role involved working closely alongside patients, shadowing them through their care and also inviting them to explain the impact good or bad care had on their health journey first hand.

I moved into Primary Care in March 2020, working as an operations coordinator for a not-for-profit organisation developing general practice at scale in North Cumbria. While I learnt a huge amount during my time in this role, I missed the direct contact I had previously had with patients and service users.

As a volunteer for both Guide Dogs UK and Cumbria Education Trust I knew I enjoyed working alongside the voluntary sector and also felt I had some great networks across my local area. I started working in Social Prescribing in February 2020 and have enjoyed the role immensely, the direct contact with local residents, community and home visits and support of a GP surgery setting has helped me to strike a great work life balance as a parent to a toddler as well as the satisfaction of knowing I am doing a valuable job.

I feel very passionately that the Link Worker Model is an excellent and much needed support during the current complex societal, political and economic challenges we are facing as a country.

Angela Feherty

Nationally Elected Council Member

I am delighted to be given the chance to represent Scottish Community Links Practitioners as a collective body through Joining the Council of NALW.

I have worked in public service for over 35 years: in housing, criminal justice, social work, conflict resolution, and latterly as a senior manager in an MS Therapy Centre in Glasgow. I have qualifications in counselling, mediation, leadership and management.

In June 2022 I commenced employment with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland as a Community Links Practitioner in West Dunbartonshire, a small but vibrant local authority close to Glasgow. Working in a primary care setting has been a hugely enjoyable learning curve; I am based between 2 GP Practices.

The challenge of supporting patients to deal with the many complex social factors which affect their health and wellbeing is an immense privilege. It is sad, exhausting, rewarding and without compare in its diversity. I have learned a great deal in the past 18 months and have undertaken training in suicide prevention, welfare/ benefits, bereavement counselling, self harm, and disclosure of childhood sexual abuse.

The need for Links Practitioners is proven and well established and recognised as a necessary and integral part of primary care services. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with colleagues to champion our role, our unique and flexible approach, and the value of our work throughout the United Kingdom.