At a recent Alliance conference, ‘Evidence and well-being’, attendees explored how well-being initiatives would benefit from a dedicated What Works Centre and how the Centre might work in practice, videos of the presentations can be found here. This blog series from potential ‘users’ of the Centre highlights how it might help them:
1. Putting well-being at the heart of education: all aboard the bandwagon!
Primary school teacher Adrian Bethune shares his passion for well-being and education and argues for the need for hard and accessible research to convince his fellow teachers of the need to introduce various well-being measures in their schools.
2. We need a What Works Centre for Well-being: getting evidence out of the front line
The community action programme Well London is building a framework that puts well-being at the heart of improving the health of some of London’s most disadvantaged communities. Alison Pearce, Well London programme manager at the Greater London Authority, argues that a What Works Centre for Well-being would make finding and sharing evidence easier.
3. Relationships should be at the heart of well-being
Policymakers need to collect more hard evidence – including longitudinal data- on the importance of an individual’s relationships to their well-being, says Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the charity Grandparents Plus. And not just relationships between couples, but also intergenerational ones such as grandparent/grandchild.
4. Evidence and well-being: join the campaign to re-balance the way we hold schools to account
Well-being is a statutory obligation for state funded schools but it’s being neglected with the increasing focus on a narrow band of academic subjects, according to the Chief Executive of the PSHE (Personal, Social Health and Economics Education) Association Joe Hayman. Hayman argues that a What Works Centre for Well-being would have a role to play in developing the evidence base and campaigning for its use.
5. A What Works Centre for Well-being: why does Citizens Advice need to know what works?
Tamsin Shuker, Impact Manager at the Citizens Advice Bureau, argues that evidence will allow them to understand the needs of our clients, to determine what interventions are most effective in affecting well-being, and demonstrate the value of those interventions to funders.
6. Evidence and well-being: why we need to listen to local politicians
A What Works centre must avoid focusing on central government but engage with local decision-makers, says Professor Mark Gamsu at Leeds Metropolitan University. Working at the local level provides an opportunity to develop more ‘radical solutions to improving wellbeing that the sound bite world of Westminster struggles to achieve’.