So she visited her link worker in her GP surgery for a conversation about the support that was available.
Patricia was signposted to various community services to support her and was then invited to attend the weekly NHS Community Pop In at Woodside Baptist Church in Addiscombe.
The Pop In is run for people signposted from the medical team within GP surgeries after they mentioned that they are feeling isolated and want to improve their mental health.
Patricia attended sessions regularly and has now become a volunteer at the Pop In, helping to plan events for others, such as coach trips to the beach, cream tea outings and karaoke sessions.
Patricia said: “Without the social prescriber conversation all those years ago i dread to think where I would be now. I now have a strong sense of purpose. I have many new friends and my health is not centre stage any more, I am!”
Lynda Graham, a social prescribing link worker for Croydon GP Supernet Primary Care Network (a group of practices), runs the Pop In, which also features mobility and stretch sessions weekly, quizzes and bingo.
She has been with the PCN since 2019 and worked through the Covid-19 pandemic, calling people, supporting at local food banks and delivering food parcels to the housebound.
The Pop In group grew as a community group through the pandemic as people were even more isolated after she contacted the church to ask to use their car park to get people together as groups were not allowed to meet indoors. It later moved to the church hall.
She said: “We have five volunteers who themselves originally came due to loneliness. Our aim is to help people regain companionship and feel a sense of belonging again.
“Our group has over 60 people a week attending, from various surgeries within our PCN and we signpost from the Pop In to other community services that can offer support.
“The session is two hours a week and we invite our clinical colleagues such as community PCN physiotherapists and paramedics to come along talk to people about medication and health concerns or do checks.”