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Are you happy yet?

The ONS published its Well-being survey this week, but there has been little fanfare about it. This is due the focus on the Olympics, which in itself, could contribute to a more positive feeling about life.

I am no expert in these thing, but I tend to agree with a comment in the Evening Standard this week, which pointed out that London got one of the lowest scores, despite being more affluent and more productive that many other parts of the country.
See this link for a map of wellbeing, courtesy of the Guardian

So surprise, surprise; wealth doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness and positive well-being. But then, what does make us happy?

An Interview by the Guardian in Thurrock, one of the places with the worst figures, managed to find a cheery divorcee and a satisfied person out of work. Both these factors are supposed to create unhappiness. We Brits don’t like to be categorised, which is why surveys like this are important to throw up data and lead us away from a purely capitalist or socialist narrative. Luke Bretherton wrote recently, “… the market (has) a place, but it needs to know its place” [1]

We at the FaithAction national office will be looking at this data, as well as census, to see what conclusions we can draw. However, we also want to use common sense. Some urban centres have the worst score, so then, is there a problem with cities? Not necessarily, but if they are centres of dislocation, where people only see those who they have a financial exchange with (the cashier, the care assistant racing through, or even the colleague at work) and not a connection to the wider community, then isolation, being alone in a crowd, surely causes more unhappiness and a lack of well-being.

Tell us what you think – what is your organisation doing to promote well-being?



[1] Taken from ‘Christianity and Contemporary Politics’ written by Luke Bretherton, 2010; published by Wiley-Blackwell

About Daniel Singleton

National Executive Director

Daniel Singleton has been the National Executive Director of FaithAction since 2007. In this role Daniel has become influential in a number of government departments, highlighting the significant part that faith-based organisations are playing in communities around the UK. Daniel also meets regularly with FaithAction member organisations to help them move forward and develop in their delivery.