There is growing evidence for the wellbeing benefits of engaging with heritage and the historic environment. As demonstrated by Historic England and others, there are many ways to improve individual and community wellbeing through heritage – from volunteering and visiting sites, to sharing stories and memories of a place and connecting with others.

This toolkit has been developed following a pilot project delivered by Nottingham Community Voluntary Service, NCVS for Historic England. The aim of the pilot was to test the potential of the heritage sector to contribute to the development of local social prescribing and the improvement of individual and community wellbeing through a Heritage Buddies scheme.
Heritage Buddies link people in need, through social prescribing, to engagement with local heritage and the historic environment in a place. This is part of the “whole community approach to social prescribing”, as adopted by the National Academy for Social Prescribing , NASP, and directly meets Historic England’s purpose to improve people’s lives by championing and protecting the historic environment – and demonstrating its wellbeing benefits and social impact.

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