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What COVID-19 means for local gatherings

** Please read our main COVID-19 policy before this **

Blue Line

With our world in the grip of crisis ... our actions matter.

Having reviewed the current situation and medical advice, Action for Happiness is recommending we postpone all our face-to-face courses, meetings and public events for the immediate future.

We are doing this because:

  • We know that face-to-face meetings pose a health risk to organisers and participants and contribute to the general spread of COVID-19.
  • We are aware that it is likely soon to be government advice to cancel such meetings.
  • We know our organisers are concerned about the situation and want a recommendation from us on what to do about it. 

Below we list out what this might mean for you in different situations (which we will update as things progress and we learn more): 

1. I want to run a course in the near future

We are currently no longer accepting applications from, or processing course applications for, courses that start before SEPTEMBER 2020. This might seem far away, but work and promotion for September courses actually begins in June/July and this seems to be the most sensible time to plan for given current advice.

If you were planning a course to run between April-August we ask that you rethink it and instead submit an application for a course starting September onwards (need to submit by start of July for start of September to allow for set-up and promotion).


2. I'm a leader of a course that hasn't yet started

If your course is due to start before September we strongly recommend you postpone it till the Autumn term. Even if you were to go ahead, it is likely that changes in government public health policy will demand it be cancelled anyway. We will, of course, refund your participants and let them know when a new course is organised.

We ask that you instead submit an application for a course starting September onwards.


3. I'm leading a course that is currently running

This is the most tricky of the scenarios as it depends where you are, how many weeks you have left of your course and how safe your participants feel to continue. It is likely that the government will call for a close of public meetings within the next week or two (though we don't know for certain). If you live in an area with no current cases and have one remaining session this week, or early next, you might be able to proceed but would need to ensure that everyone in the group has read our COVID-19 policy [link] and actively consents to being there.

However, should you choose to follow our advice of postponing there are 3 possible options open:

  • Delay your remaining sessions until the advice changes (likely sometime between June-September) and continue with your course then.
  • Postpone your course completely and start again in September (attendees will be refunded and informed of the next course).
  • Continue by holding sessions digitally on Zoom (we are currently investigating this as an option - please contact us to find out more).

In all cases, Action for Happiness remains committed to supporting you and will cover any agreed expenses incurred - though if there is anything you can do with your venue to avoid cancellation fees etc. please do investigate - it would help a great deal.

4. I'm taking part in a course being postponed

We are really sorry that this has happened!

We are such big believers in the power of face-to-face experiences, it is a terrible shame to see so much effort and opportunity go to waste.

  • Refunds - we will be in touch soon to offer all participants of postponed courses refunds for the sessions that will be cancelled.
  • Courses restarting - we are encouraging our leaders to move their courses (or restart them) in the Autumn term starting in September 2020 and will be in touch to let you know when a place becomes available.
  • Non-face-to-face materials - in the meantime we recommend checking out our app, monthly action calendars and following our newsletter to find ways to stay involved - and we have some other great digital offerings coming up too!

It's ok to feel disappointed, we are too!

A huge amount of intention, hard work, time, hope and excitement go into each course - invested by participants, organisers and our team. We are all feeling shocked that so much has to change so quickly to respond to the wider wellbeing need, and we can also see the need to do our bit. 

As a movement that focuses so strongly on bringing people together, it has been an exceptionally difficult call to make to cancel so much activity --- but since lives may genuinely be saved by doing so, we know we must take action.

Reasons to stay hopeful

1. By taking action now we can hopefully all return to normality sooner than if we delay.

2. Taking a break from supporting face-to-face courses over the next few months means we have the capacity to work on some very exciting new projects (including digital offerings you can use in the meantime), including:

  • We have an exciting 10 Keys email coaching programme we are testing.
  • We are discussing having a series of webinars with expert speakers (replacing our London events).
  • We are working on a BRAND NEW version of the course with updated content and materials and hope to be ready to bring you soon!

3. As members of the Action for Happiness movement we are needed more than ever in our families, communities and society as a source of positivity, connection and wise action - however that may adapt to the circumstances we are in.

Thank you so much for being part of this amazing movement. Let's see what creativity and positive responses this situation brings up … even if it does require a brief pause first to find them.

COVID-19: Our Response

These are our 3 key principles for responding constructively to the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Listen to the experts

2. Keep calm (but don't carry on)

3. Make wise & kind choices

Keep Calm And Dont Homepage

Please read our full COVID-19 Response for more details.