Before I was 3 out of 10, now I’m 8 out of 10 – by Jaso

When Jaso Thavananthen got in touch with social prescriber Norin Begum, she rated her life as 3 out of 10. Nowadays, that has soared to 8 out of 10 because so much has changed for her.

It was late spring 2022 when mother of two Jaso, 52, who is from Sri Lanka and lives in Gants Hill, Redbridge, spoke to a GP about how she was feeling.

She says: “I had family problems, I had lost my job, I was ill, there was pain in my shoulders and I had financial worries. I couldn’t stop thinking – I had too many worries going round and round in my head.”

To link her up with practical and emotional support, the doctor referred Jaso to Norin, a social prescriber at Forest Edge Practice, Chigwell.

Norin’s role is to listen to people whose health is suffering because of problems that can’t be solved by doctors, and to connect them with groups and activities that can help.

With financial worries at the forefront of Jaso’s mind, Norin gave her details for an independent finance centre which supported her to claim welfare benefits she is entitled to.

Then they tackled Jaso’s health. After years of working for a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, she has damaged shoulder muscles which cause a lot of pain. She also has low blood sugar and faints frequently. The painkillers she was taking were making her sleepy.

Norin arranged for Jaso to get a doctor’s referral to Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre, where she gets reduced-price gym sessions twice a week that are gradually building up her strength. A friendly woman trainer encourages her and that makes a difference too.

“Norin helped me, she gave me some advice,” says Jaso. “Before I was 3 out of 10, now I’m 8 out of 10. I’m feeling better.”

UPDATED: 09/03/2023