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Would you like to be part of creating a happier and more caring society? If so please join our movement, add your pledge and take action - at home, at school, at work or in your community. Together we can make a difference

I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me

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Action 3

Create a local Action for Happiness group

Our vision for the Action for Happiness movement involves local groups of like-minded people joining up to share ideas and take action.

There is now a vast array of evidence about how we can create happier lives, but most of this isn't yet being acted on in our homes, schools, businesses and communities.  So if you believe that happiness matters, and want to be part of building a happier society, then why not create a local group today and start putting these ideas into practice together.

Why do it?

Forming or joining a group has many advantages:

  • Structure: having regular meetings helps us focus and when we tell someone we're going to do something it makes it more likely that we'll put our ideas into practice
  • Inspiration: being part of a group exposes us to lots of new perspectives and ideas. We learn new things and get inspired by each others stories and experiences
  • Support: Some of us feel isolated or frustrated and don't realise that others may be experiencing the same feelings. Groups provide us with support but also bring us opportunities to help and encourage others.
  • Enjoyment: It's fun to join up with people - whether old friends or people you've never met before - especially to talk about a topic that's really important to you like happiness
Where to start

1. Find some like-minded people. Start by talking to people you know about your plan to start an Action for Happiness group. Try to find a handful of people who would be interested in joining you - and ask them to involve others they know too. Alternatively post your group idea and location on our MeetUp page so others can see it and contact you.

2. Select an initial theme. Based on your own interest and the views of the people you've spoken to, choose an initial theme for your group. There are no hard and fast rules and the group's focus will evolve over time. Here are some suggested themes for groups:

3. Arrange to meet. Find a suitable venue - depending on your chosen theme this could be someone's house, a local café or pub, a local community meeting place, or an office or school. Try to share any relevant information with group beforehand - see links on this site for ideas.

4. Make things happen. Follow the energy of the group and decide together what themes and actions you want to pursue. Organise regular sessions together and grow the group to include others where appropriate.

Over the coming months the Action for Happiness team is planning to develop a more detailed and structured set of materials for groups to work through together. These will provide more structure to underpin group activities.

Organising meetings

Although group meetings and actions will normally take place face-to-face, it's useful to get members joined up on-line. We recommend creating specific MeetUps (meetings) as part of the Action for Happiness MeetUp group. This allows you to share messages and ideas with other members and also lets other interested people find your group.

You don't have to use MeetUp to run your group. You could equally use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Groups, Ning or something else - whatever you're familiar with and works best for you. But however you decide to manage your activities, please announce your group on our Groups and Events page so that other members of Action for Happiness can hear about it.

For more information see About Action for Happiness Groups.

Suggestions for an effective group
  • Find the right location. Try to find a venue with the right vibe for your theme and make sure people know how to find you. Get seating, tables and so on arranged in a way that allows people to see and talk to each other easily.
  • Be organised. Try to identify topics to focus on before each meeting and encourage people to read any relevant materials. Plan to start on time and end on time
  • Get everyone involved. As organiser your job is to make everyone feel welcome, ensure people have been introduced to each other and encourage an open, friendly discussion that everyone feels involved in.
  • Agree group principles. Try to agree as a group some principles for working together - e.g. confidentiality, trust, desire to work together to create a happier society. It's important that people trust each other and feel included. Ideally group members will also be members of Action for Happiness and be willing to take our pledge.
  • Share experiences. Try to start each new group session with a brief recap on what happened at the previous session and invite group members to share reflections on what they've been thinking about or doing as a result.

Resources

BBC Happiness Challenge

Action for Happiness help BBC Breakfast run a week-long Happiness Challenge.

BBC Happiness

Daily Actions

The Happiness Challenge involves simple daily actions in three areas:

* Be Mindful - do less and notice more

* Be Kind - do things for others

* Be Grateful - remember the good things

Happiness Challenge workbook

Download: Happiness Challenge workbook