SOUTHAMPTON youth charity is celebrating after being awarded £85,000 in funding. The cash from central government's health and wellbeing fund will mean No Limits can help young people aged five to 25 get access to services.

They will provide a link for socially excluded children and young people in Southampton to go to community-based services like sport, weight management, volunteering, anger and stress management, counselling and peer support - and to increase quality of life and wellbeing.

Annabel Hodgson, CEO of No Limits said: “This is an exciting new development for Southampton health services. By linking directly through referrals we would hope to have a significant positive impact on the health outcomes for these young people.

"The project is part of a new scheme called "social prescribing", which recognizes that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors and seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way.

"Evidence shows that this approach can reduce demand on NHS services: a UK study found that after 3 to 4 months, 80% of patients referred to a social prescribing scheme had reduced their use of A&E, outpatient appointments and inpatient admissions."

A total of 23 social prescribing projects in England will receive a share of the £4.5 million funding, which will provide support for those impacted by health inequalities, help people with particularly complex needs, and reach out to people who may be socially isolated.