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Action for Happiness - Key Achievements

20 Dec 2013 | Action for Happiness

Since its launch in April 2011, Action for Happiness has focused on four main activities:

  1. BUILDING THE MOVEMENT: creating a global community of like-minded people who are committed to taking action for a happier and more caring society.
  2. ENGAGING A WIDE AUDIENCE: reaching out to a wide range of people to show them why happiness and wellbeing really matter and what more can be done.
  3. PROVIDING PRACTICAL HELP: sharing practical resources that people can use to increase happiness both for themselves and others, all based on the latest empirical research.
  4. TRANSFORMING ORGANISATIONS: helping organisations enhance the wellbeing and resilience of their people, leading to greater happiness and improved productivity.

This article summarises our key achievements to date in each of these areas.

 

1. BUILDING THE MOVEMENT

World Map Afh Course

  • Members and supporters: We have signed up 32,000 members from over 140 countries, asking each to make a personal pledge to "create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world". We have also built a wider online community of over 120,000 supporters and a network of 20 local Action for Happiness groups. For example, our Brighton group has over 300 active members and holds regular meetings and events.
  • The Action for Happiness Course: We have created an 8-week course to explore what matters for a happy and meaningful life. It is designed to be run by our members in their local communities. Participants on the pilot course gave it an average score of 4.9 out of 5 and we measured significant increases both in their own wellbeing and also in their pro-social attitudes. Hundreds of our members now plan to run the course locally.
  • Pushing for change: We have been actively involved in significant public policy activities, including the United Nations' Happiness and Wellbeing: A New Economic Paradigm process and the UK Government's Measuring National Wellbeing programme.

"The course has really had a profoundly positive impact on my life; it has been so incredible to be surrounded by such interesting people who share my passion for making the world a happier place, and the ideas shared by the group have honestly inspired me no end."

~ Catherine (Participant who took part in the Action for Happiness course)

 

2. ENGAGING A WIDE AUDIENCE

Bbc News Happy Heroes

  • Our website: Since its launch our website www.actionforhappiness.org has had a total of 3 million hits and is currently averaging over 45,000 visits per month.
  • Media coverage: We have generated significant global media coverage with hundreds of articles and appearances, including: ABC, Adevărul, BBC News, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News, City Wire, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Star, Die Zeit, El Confidencial, Gulf News, Herald Scotland, Herald Sun, London Evening Standard, Financial Times, Guardian, Huffington Post, Il Sole 24 Ore, Independent, International Herald Tribune, Indian Express, 'i' paper, ITV News, Jerusalem Post, Mail Tribune, Management Today, Malaysia Star, Marie Claire, Men's Health, Metro, Network 10, New York Times, Press Association, PSFK, Psychologies, Psychology Today, Reuters, România Liberă, Scotsman, Sunday Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Telegraph, Times, USA Today and Voice of Russia.
  • Public events: We have put on 30 events attended by over 7,000 people, with inspiring speakers including Matthieu Ricard, Jon Kabat Zinn, Ruby Wax, Daniel Goleman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Karen Armstrong, Adam Grant, Nic Marks, Anthony Seldon, Tony Hawks, Mary Gordon, Oliver Burkeman, Leo Bormans and many more. Videos of our events have had over 300,000 views online from all around the world. We have also presented at over 70 third-party events attended by over 11,000 people in various locations including Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, United Kingdom and United States.
  • Global Campaign: We led a global campaign to celebrate the first UN international day of happiness on 20 March 2013 www.dayofhappiness.net. We built a partnership of 40 organisations to promote the day, coordinated a range of events and generated significant global media coverage. The campaign had an estimated social media reach of over 3.5m people and was "trending" on Twitter for a number of hours during the day.

"Your event had a dramatic positive effect on my sister who has been suffering from severe depression for three years. Something seemed to click for her and she has been a different woman ever since."

~ Miranda (Person who attended one of our public events with her sister)

 

3. PROVIDING PRACTICAL HELP

Afh Event Do Happiness

  • Ten Keys to Happier Living: Our evidence-based Ten Keys to Happier Living framework has now been used in hundreds of organisations and communities around the world, including businesses, schools and third-sector organisations. Over 30,000 postcards of the Ten Keys have been distributed by our members all over the world and our new guidebook to the Ten Keys has had over 40,000 downloads/views in just a few months.
  • Happier Living course: We developed a 2-session "Practical Ideas For Happier Living" course in partnership with a Local Authority/NHS Public Health team in the UK. We have piloted the course for different groups, including students, young parents and people living with mental health challenges. Surveys before and after the course show that it has a significant positive impact on the mental wellbeing of participants.
  • Weekly newspaper: We have created an online weekly newspaper to share the latest news, ideas and research relating to happiness and wellbeing. afhnews.org
  • 'Do Happiness' programme: We have launched a 6-week Do Happiness programme to help people establish daily habits to increase happiness for themselves and others. Participants complete a survey about their habits and receive personalised daily "Do" messages (actions) via text message and email. dsd.me/dohappiness

"Thank you so much for making your resources available! This subject matter is quite different to what has previously been delivered in welfare lessons, and I was really grateful to be able to introduce positive psychology principles at my school."

~ Amy (High school teacher in Australia)

 

4. TRANSFORMING ORGANISATIONS

Afh Event Vk Speaking

  • Wellbeing and Resilience programme: We have created a unique, evidence-based training programme called Doing Well From The Inside Out. It aims to increase wellbeing and resilience in organisations and was originally developed for managers in BT. When we piloted the programme,100% of participants said it was of value to them and100% said they would recommend it to others. Psychological measures taken before and after the programme also showed strong increases in average levels of wellbeing.
  • Reaching more organisations: We have now provided training, advice and talks for 20 organisations, including Accenture, Antofagasta, Berkeley Partnership, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, BT, CMS Cameron McKenna, Flamingo International, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard, Just Giving, Lancashire Police, Marks & Spencer, National Health Service, North West Employers, Nuffield Health, ORC International, Roche, Royal Borough of Kingston, Swanswell and vInspired.

"This course was the best I have attended in 35 years!"

~ Paul (Manager who completed our Doing Well from the Inside Out programme)

 

WHAT'S NEXT?

1. BUILDING THE MOVEMENT

2. ENGAGING A WIDE AUDIENCE

  • Even bigger campaign for UN Day of Happiness 2014
  • Plus on-going events, online content and media coverage

3. PROVIDING PRACTICAL HELP

  • Further roll-out of Do Happiness programme
  • Plus on-going promotion of our other resources and courses

4. TRANSFORMING ORGANISATIONS

  • Extend our team to support more organisations
  • Plus on-going delivery of training, advice and talks

 

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