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Free places still available at a conference at Ipswich Town FC

​Members of the public are being invited to a free conference being hosted in Ipswich next week by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) Governors.

Anyone with an interest in mental, physical and spiritual health, as well as service users and their families and health and social care professionals, can book a place in advance for ‘Mind, Body and Soul’.

The free half-day conference will be held at Ipswich Town Football Club on Friday (2nd Nov) between 12 noon and 4.30pm.

It will look at health and recovery through ‘social prescribing’, which is the use of non-medical activities and support services, such as housing and benefit advice, gardening, arts and crafts, sport etc which promote healthy lifestyles and community cohesion.

Workshops will focus on:

• Green therapy
• Arts, crafts and other interests
• Food and diet
• Sports and exercise
• Soul

Ian Hartley, an NSFT Public Governor representing Suffolk, who is helping to organise the conference, said: “It is exciting to see how our NHS in Suffolk is recognising and responding to the needs of the community by the introduction of social prescribing.

“Social prescribing recognises that as well as medication and talking therapies; stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression can be addressed by a range of activities that make people feel better and more able to cope.

“For example, by encouraging and supporting people to take regular exercise, or to join lunch clubs, craft and gardening groups, the NHS is promoting wellbeing.

“We hope as many people as possible will join us for what promises to be a really enlightening, engaging and interactive afternoon.”

Mind, Body and Soul will feature presentations from national, regional and local experts, and stalls and workshops from a wide variety of support organisations. It aims to raise awareness and understanding of social prescribing and provide an opportunity for people to explore what’s on offer already and what might be developed in the future.

It follows the success of the Mind, Body and Soul conference on social prescribing held in Norwich earlier this year.

Speakers will provide an overview of social prescribing, including its key features and challenges, the experiences of those benefiting from social prescribing, plans for its development across Suffolk, and lessons from local projects already up and running.

Attendees will have the chance to ask questions, visit stalls and take part in workshops to find out what’s available to help people manage their mental, physical and spiritual well-being and aid the process of recovery for those experiencing an episode of hospital care.

Mr Hartley added that the conference will feature an update on investment plans for Suffolk and opportunities to hear stories from the county of successful social prescribing and the wide range of activities and support available.

* Anyone who would like to attend Mind, Body and Soul should book their place in advance by visiting

Caption: Ian Hartley, who is one of six NSFT Public Governors representing Suffolk, is helping to organise the Mind, Body and Soul conference in Ipswich.

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