Case study

The Wellbeing Project now known as Wellbeing Enterprises

CIC that is pioneering “social prescribing”

The Wellbeing Project now known as Wellbeing Enterprises is an award winning social enterprise based on Merseyside that puts “social prescribing” at the heart of its work.

It provides a broad array of interventions that connect people with low levels of mental wellbeing to creative activities that serve as a conduit for building confidence, forming friendships and learning new skills.

The main strand of its work is directly supporting the mental health needs of individuals and communities, the second sees the CIC acting as a health and wellbeing consultancy for companies, practitioners and organisations.

The CIC was born out of a pilot project in 2005, funded by St Helens Primary Care Trust. Aiming to become self-sufficient, the steering committee decided to adopt the Community Interest Company model in 2006.

Since the organisation’s inception, the Wellbeing Project now known as Wellbeing Enterprises has brought almost £500,000 into the local health economy, and in 2010 it helped almost 900 people to improve their mental wellbeing.

Notable achievements to date include winning the Department of Health North West Public Health Commissioning Award in 2006, and the Regional Health and Social Care Award in 2010 in the category of ‘Innovation in mental health’ for the development of a community resilience programme that is now being delivered to many hundreds of people in communities across the Merseyside region.

Over the last six years the organisation has secured funding from Comic Relief, UnLtd, The Community Foundation and Big Lottery Fund to name but a few. Over recent years The Wellbeing Project now known as Wellbeing Enterprises has secured contracts with the NHS, local authorities and other third sector agencies. In fact in 2010 the Wellbeing Project now known as Wellbeing Enterprises reached a major landmark in that a majority proportion of its revenue came from contracts and sales.

The organisation has expanded to include five paid members of staff and is led by Directors Mark Swift, Paula Gamester and Dr Laura Pogue.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Mark Swift explained that the Wellbeing Project now known as Wellbeing Enterprises is making a name for itself with its proven track record of delivering high quality, evidence based interventions for clients with low mental wellbeing.

“We are becoming more increasingly recognised as leaders in our field in terms of bringing innovative approaches to the provision of mental health care, and more importantly, providing meaningful and lasting outcomes for clients,” said Swift.

The CIC business model was chosen because of its flexibility and its user-friendly format, by doing away with unnecessary administration and jargon. It also, allows for the company to marry up its various strands of voluntary and private work.

The asset lock was also an important factor in deciding to become a CIC. It means that were the CIC ever to fold, the team could nominate another Community Interest Company that will benefit from any funds or assets it has left.

Name The Wellbeing Project now known as Wellbeing Enterprises
Location St Helens and Halton, Merseyside
Company structure CIC limited by shares
Founded Became a CIC in July 2006
Community interest statement Delivering sustainable improvements in mental health and wellbeing.
Published 12 November 2013
Last updated 27 November 2015 + full page history
  1. CIC changed it's name.
  2. First published.