North East Lincolnshire Council and its regeneration partner EQUANS have been awarded £76,000 from the Department for Transport.
Officers will use this funding to find out how social prescribing schemes could be expanded locally, helping to enable more local people to engage in active travel, such as walking and cycling.
Social prescribing staff in North East Lincolnshire work with people to understand their lives and help people to improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them to activities and support in the community.
If North East Lincolnshire is successful with its proposals and given the go-ahead to take part in the national pilot, it could see social prescribing referrals for people to take part in activity programmes and projects that encourage walking and cycling as part of their daily travel. This could include social/guided walks or bike rides, equipment loans and new infrastructure.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “Active travel is an easy and accessible way for people to achieve daily physical activity goals and to improve their mobility. By fitting exercise into their daily lives, for example, a journey that they would normally do by car, it becomes a habit and doesn’t seem as daunting. You are also doing your bit for the environment when replacing a potential car journey by walking or cycling instead.”
Research published by the Mayor of London, who oversaw an Active Travel scheme in the capital, found that just 20 minutes of walking or cycling a day could prevent 1 in 6 early deaths, saving the NHS £1.7bn in treatment over the next 25 years.