In December 2017, Action for Happiness produced a list of “Happiness Champions” in Brighton & Hove celebrating the people that go the extra mile to make Brighton a happy place to live and work.
Action for Happiness uncovered extraordinary people and were delighted to share their stories and highlight their achievements.
The list was inspired by the original Annual Happy List created in 2008 by David Randall in the Independent on Sunday. Born out of a need to provide an antidote to rich lists and celebrity lists that worship financial wealth, Happy Lists reflect a completely different set of values: celebrating the people who do so much to make their communities a better, happier place to live, without any thought of personal gain or recognition.
Happy Lists aim to provide a high-profile tool for promoting social cohesion and improving the overall ‘wellbeing’ of local communities. Using positive impacts on society as a key measure success shines a spotlight on the value of helping others, whilst also helping to express gratitude from the many people whose lives have been touched by these selfless individuals.
Connecting and giving to others plays a significant role in personal happiness, and the happier the individuals in a community, the happier the overall community becomes.
Wellbeing expert Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health at the University of Warwick, has identified five key actions for boosting mental wellbeing (a vital component of happiness):
- Connecting with people
- Being active in any activity you enjoy
- Continuing to learning
- Giving to others
- Being mindful
The Happy Lists celebrate people that have connected with others, kept active and busy, pushed themselves in areas that may have involved learning new skills and most importantly contributed in a positive way to those around them.
They are individuals taking steps to both improve their own well-being whilst making considerable improvements to their community.
These individuals are called “Happiness Champions” who are positive role models to inspire others. Action for Happiness hope the choices theses role models have made will encourage others to seek opportunities for themselves, to connect with new people, learn new skills and give to others.
In addition, they aim to help social isolation by raising awareness of the many community groups and individual projects running in the area which would benefit from new volunteers.
Past Happy Lists have included hyperactive fundraisers, inspirational teachers, doctors, inventors & musicians, women who have fostered hundreds of kids and a financier who gave up the high-life to work on deprived estates.
Anyone can be nominated so long as they are motivated by human happiness rather than personal gain, recognising amazing people who rarely seek publicity but are constantly striving to make Brighton a better place.
Find out more: http://www.actionforhappinessbrighton.org.uk/