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you care about the happiness of others around you? If so please
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work or in your community. Together we can create a better, happier
I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me
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There is now strong research evidence on the factors that are
important for community well-being as well as individual happiness
and health. Our local authorities and councils have a
responsibility for many of these. So making sure our local leaders
see well-being as a priority is an important responsibility for us
all. It will increase everyone's happiness in the long-run.
Much of what is under the direct control of local government impacts individual and community well-being: green spaces, schools, transport links, housing, libraries, sports and leisure facilities and street cleaning.
The role of local government has always been to provide the conditions for the local population to flourish. But in the past this has been a broad, unfocused goal and has often not been as high a priority as financial considerations. There is now a growing body of research evidence that shows how different factors in our local areas can increase individual happiness and health and community well-being overall, enabling local authorities to make more informed decisions about what to prioritise.
An increasing number of local authorities are translating what we know about happiness into practice in more systematic and effective ways, but there is still a long way to go. As citizens, we can take action to ensure our local leaders are aware of the benefits of paying greater attention to happiness and well-being in our communities.
1. Write to your MP of local Councillor - If you think that they could be doing more to prioritise happiness and wellbeing in your community.
2. Make the case that happiness and wellbeing is part of their remit - Much of what affects the quality of people's lives is under direct control of local government: green spaces, schools, transport, housing, libraries, sports and leisure facilities and street cleaning.
Creating the conditions that enable your community to flourish is no longer a broad or fluffy goal. There is an increasing body of evidence on what local governments can do to increase wellbeing and resilience. Many are already putting this evidence into practice and making innovative use of local authority structures and more power to promote wellbeing.
What do you think would most benefit the community you live in? Pick one or two examples that you believe in most strongly. The reports and pilot projects included in the references below will give you some ideas. They include trialling new 'emotional resilience' curricula in schools to designing more people-friendly open spaces.
Here are a few examples of what some local authorities are already doing:
The State of Happiness
Findings from the Local Wellbeing project
Neighbourliness + Empowerment = Wellbeing
Is there a formula for happy communities?
Role of Local Govt in promoting wellbeing
How to help build resilient communities.
WARM: The Wellbeing and Resilience Measure
Taking the temperature of local communities
Mental Well-being Impact Assessment Toolkit
Supports national and local services to embed mental well-being into their work
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We just need a little bit of information about you before we can add this to ouractions for happiness.
We’ll be in touch soon to give you updates on how the movement is growing