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Website launches to bring Joy to people across Leicestershire

Joy, a free health and wellbeing support site is set to be launched this Good Friday to support the physical and mental health needs of people living and working in Leicestershire.

The service, launching this Friday (March 29), will offer a diverse range of categories tailored to meet individuals’ needs, from fitness and art classes to carer support, diabetes self-help grounds, food banks, counselling and Age UK services.

Leicester Time: Website launches to bring Joy to people across Leicestershire
Picture: Unsplash

It operates on the basis of ‘social prescribing,’ a method that connects people to a variety of local activities, groups and services in their community to meet their practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing. This approach is said to be an ‘effective and holistic’ way of addressing people’s needs, acknowledging that their health and wellbeing are largely influences by social, economic and environmental factors.

As part of the website’s launch, GP practices across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have also been connected to Joy, making it easier and more effective for them to socially prescribe.

Dr Leslie Borrill, a GP partner at Bridge Street Medical Practice, said: “It is fantastic that GP practices are now connected to Joy ahead of this launch. It will transform how GPs and our wider team will ensure our patients receive the best care and support when they visit our surgeries.”

“We particularly want to make it easier for people with the most need to find better help, whether it’s support for their mental health, wanting to be more physically active, or just finding support groups close to where they live,” added Rachna Vyas, Chief Operating Officer at the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.

“Our ambition is that Joy becomes a way that everybody connects, resulting in better mental health and wellbeing across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.”

Social prescribing has gained significant traction in recent years. Approximately 20 per cent of patients consult their GP primarily for social issues, and loneliness is a growing social issue. In the UK, 49.63 per cent of adults (25.99 million people) reported feeling lonely occasionally, sometimes, often or always (2022). People experiencing loneliness visit their GP more often and have associated health issues such as depression, anxiety, and poor cardiovascular health (University of Sheffield, 2021).

Joy is a free website for everyone to use and will be available at: