There is growing evidence that engaging with history and our own local heritage promotes health and well-being and has a proactive effect on human health.  

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have exacerbated an already significant problem of physical and mental health issues globally as humans struggle to adapt to an increasingly uncertain and unpredictable future.  

Social isolation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, heart disease, obesity... the list goes on.

Working with the Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre NHS CCG, Lancashire County Council and local GPs, together with Dr Linda Monckton, Historic England's Head of Wellbeing and Inclusion Strategy, we are embarking upon developing a series of activities to improve the health and well-being of Kirkham residents through heritage-based activities.  

This work will involve designing a Social Prescribing programme which connects people – via GPs and link workers – to specific activities in the community for practical and emotional support.

Social prescription helps people get more control over their healthcare, to manage their needs and in a way that suits them. It can especially help people who:

  • have one or more long-term condition
  • need support with their mental health
  • are lonely or isolated
  • have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing

Social prescribing links people to a range of activities that are typically provided by voluntary and community sector organisations. For example, volunteering, arts activities, group learning, gardening, healthy eating advice, cookery, local history research groups, handling historic artefacts, learning heritage skills and so on.

A model showing how the historic environment relates to wellbeing indicators. © Historic England

When social prescribing works well, people can easily be referred to link workers in their local area via GPs, pharmacies, hospital discharge teams etc as well as via public services such as the fire service, police and employment services.

With funding from Historic England, we can develop a range of opportunities and activities that will provide a varied pathway of meaningful interventions to improve health and wellbeing of local people.

Feasibility studies are now being carried out to help create a practical and costed model for delivery in Kirkham.

Fylde Borough Council has engaged the Helen Shearn Associates - a consultancy in arts, heritage, health and wellbeing - who are carrying out a feasibility study in  relation to Kirkham's proposed HS HAZ Heritage, Health and Wellbeing Programme.

Helen spoke at a special National Academy For Social Prescribing webinar about the Kirkham project.

You can view this webinar here below:

For more information about Historic England’s work with health and well-being please visit https://historicengland.org.uk/whats-new/research/back-issues/wellbeing-and-the-historic-environment/

Get Involved and Have Your Say!
Regeneration takes time. Over the coming months, there are a number of ways for you to get involved in shaping the future of Kirkham. We've set up a series of engagement activities to engage with you during the pandemic and beyond.  Please register or subscribe to our newsletter so we can easily invite you to the different engagement activities as we publish them.
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EXPLORE OTHER ProJECTS IN OUr ProGRAMME
Funding Source
High Street Heritage Action Zone
We are grateful to have won Heritage Action Zone Funding from Historic England, and are in the process of setting up a series of sub-projects funded under this programme.
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Headline Project
Public Realm Improvements
Find out how £1.5m will be invested in reviving and re-energising Kirkham’s historic town centre streets and open spaces
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Funding Source
Future High Street Fund Masterplan
In 2020, funded by Future High Street Funding from Ministry Housing, Communities and Local Government we developed our masterplan by Bauman Lyons.
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Headline Project
Shop Front Improvement Scheme
Shopkeepers and landlords can apply for large grants to transform their high street properties help return many properties to their former historic glory
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Headline Project
Heritage and Eco Skills Centre
We aim to create a regional centre of excellence for heritage and eco skills within the restored Grade II Listed Hillside building
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Headline Project
The Kirkgate Centre
Key to regeneration of the town – this prime building is the ideal place for mixed use development leisure, retail and housing
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Headline Project
Arts and Heritage Centre & Community Cinema
One of the most urgent needs expressed by the residents is for some form of leisure attraction, in particular a cinema on the high street
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Headline Project
HS HAZ Cultural Programme
Kirkham has been awarded an £80,000 grant from Historic England to create and deliver community-led cultural activities on the high street
READ morE
Headline Project
Health and Wellbeing  Programme
Engaging with Kirkham’s history and heritage can improve the health and wellbeing of local people
READ morE
Get Involved and Have Your Say!
Regeneration takes time. Over the coming months, there are a number of ways for you to get involved in shaping the future of Kirkham. We've set up a series of engagement activities to engage with you during the pandemic and beyond.  Please register or subscribe to our newsletter so we can easily invite you to the different engagement activities as we publish them.
Get Involved
HS HAZ funding banner