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New report highlights massive impact of Wellbeing Exeter on communities

Published: 15 March 2024

New report highlights massive impact of Wellbeing Exeter on communities Wellbeing Exeter

Exeter residents working with Wellbeing Exeter are less lonely and more connected to their neighbourhoods than they were before Covid, a new report published by the organisation shows.

The impact report, which looks at the work of the organisation since 2016, shows that 5503 people have accessed their services in this time, working with Community Connectors, Community Builders and Community Physical Activity Organisers operating across the city and in Cranbrook.

Wellbeing Exeter was originally developed when GPs noticed that a growing number of their patients showed symptoms caused by social needs or anxieties, as opposed to physical medical problems.

The report also shows the social return on investment, or the social impact on the city of Exeter in monetary terms. Almost £2m has been saved as a direct result of people accessing wellbeing support such as social groups, instead of accessing primary care facilities such as their GP.

Cllr Martin Pearce, Lead Councillor for Communities and Homelessness Prevention, said that the report highlights the important work that Wellbeing Exeter delivers to support communities in Exeter.

He said: “This report very clearly shows in numerical terms, the value of social prescribing work to the communities and individuals in Exeter who need it most. Whether it’s somebody suffering from poor mental health, or somebody living with a long-term illness or disability, Wellbeing Exeter clearly works and it’s hugely exciting to talk about its impact in this way.

“Communities in Exeter are clearly benefitting from having Wellbeing Exeter support.”

Other positive results highlighted in the report, include users of the Wellbeing Exeter service reporting that they were 22 percent more likely to meet socially with others than they were before accessing the support, and 25 per cent were more likely to talk to somebody else in their community.

One user of the service said:

“I have lived on this road for six years and had never really met my neighbours. With [the Community Builder’s] help, I have met neighbours I had never spoken to and we often get together for a chat while our children play together. It has made living here so much better for us all.”

Another user, who had worked with the Community Connector in their neighbourhood, said:

“Receiving regular support from a Community Connector has been of great help. Sometimes it is easier to talk things through with a stranger, especially when I had the feeling of being trapped in my house because of blindness. The personal touch given has been very important.”

The report was produced by Devon Community Foundation, which has managed the Wellbeing Exeter programme since 2016. Despite their management role soon coming to an end, Devon Community Foundation will remain a key partner of Wellbeing Exeter.

Wellbeing Exeter will continue, with ongoing funding recently confirmed by Exeter City Council and Sport England, and intend for the programme to be embedded and expanded over the next 10 years. Find out more about Wellbeing Exeter, and read the impact report at Wellbeing Exeter​​ - Devon Community Foundation (


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