London Borough of Bexley
The London Borough of Bexley is a London borough in South East London, England.
Community Connect is London Borough of Bexley’s Social Prescribing Programme. It is led by Bexley Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) who subcontract to Mind in Bexley for some of the front line delivery. The project has been running across the borough since October 2017, although there was a successful pilot prior to this. The criteria for this service is that people must be 18 and over, and registered with a Bexley GP to be referred. The project currently accepts referrals from its team of volunteers, GPs, Nurses, surgery admin teams as well as self-referral and some other professional routes.
Community Connect has a two tiered holistic approach. The first level of support is offered by a team of volunteers, Community Wellbeing Volunteers, who signpost individuals to a variety of activities, groups and charities. The second level of support involves 3 wellbeing co-ordinators who will meet with individuals for approximately an hour to talk about different areas of their life, things that are important to them and make the appropriate referrals. The service follows up with both providers and clients to ensure that everyone receives the best experience.
As a CVS our role is to build a strong, sustainable and skilled voluntary sector that can rise to the challenge of tackling areas of high need. With that in mind, through Community Connect, we are able to highlight gaps in services and work with our voluntary sector partners to ensure that these high priority needs are being met.
There is another model of SRx that runs in on large medial practice in one community in the most deprived area of Bexley. This model uses volunteers in a signposting role but also funds clinic/drop-in sessions and facilitated support sessions on higher-level issues like employment support, welfare and benefits, immigration, family immigration issues. Without the funding and management through this service, this support would not be available to or accessed by these high-risk groups. This service is run in conjunction with the borough-wide model and is managed by the housing development association responsible for the regeneration, funded by external grants.
In the 2001 Census, the borough has a population of 218,307 – of whom 105,148 were male, and 113,159 female. Of the population, 44.3% were in full-time employment and 11.6% in part-time employment – compared to a London average of 42.6% and 8.6%, respectively. Residents were predominantly owner-occupiers, with 31.7% owning their house outright, and a further 46.5% owning with a mortgage. Only 2.2% were in local authority housing, with a further 11.5% renting from a housing association, or other registered social landlord.
The greater part of the population are nominal Anglicans, but a number of Roman Catholic churches and non-conformist congregations exist. In the 2001 Census, 22.7% of the area's population described themselves as non-religious or chose not to state their faith.
Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, Methodist are among the other congregations. In 2008 the former Crayford Methodist Church was purchased by the North West Kent Muslim Association to become a mosque serving Bexley and Dartford boroughs. There are no Jewish congregations.
In 2011, 58.1% of Bexley's population proportion was between 20 and 64 years old, the lowest in London. 16% of the population is over 65, the third highest behind Bromley and Havering. The average household size is 2.49, up from 2.43 in 2001. The number of households increased by 3.52% to 92,600 between 2001 and 2011, one of the lowest increases in the capital.
In 2011, 62.5% of the borough's population identified themselves as Christian, with 24.1% having no religion. Both figures are above London's average.