What Works Wellbeing operated from 2014 to 2024. This website is a static repository of all assets captured at closure on 30 April. It will remain publicly accessible but will not be updated.  Read more

About us

Improving people’s wellbeing is the ultimate goal of effective policy and community action.

From 2014-2024, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing built a reputation as the leading UK authority on wellbeing, working to understand what governments, businesses and communities can do to improve wellbeing. 

Explore our legacy


Our vision was to significantly contribute to a future where the wellbeing of people and communities in the UK improves year-on-year and wellbeing inequalities are reduced.

Our purpose was to find out what works to improve wellbeing and partner to put that evidence into action and create conditions for us all to thrive, now and in the future.

Our mission was to:

We find, share and grow wellbeing evidence and convene, guide and mobilise people

  • Find global wellbeing evidence,  synthesising insights  and accelerating access to robust research so that it is easy to find, understand and compare.
  • Share the knowledge as a public good, democratising access through translation, ensuring robust and relevant evidence reaches the right audiences in the most accessible way.
  • Grow the evidence base by identifying gaps and working together to fill them through more trials and studies, creating a learning system for wellbeing.
  • Convene people from across research, policy and practice, and amplify voices of those with low wellbeing, to share knowledge, create opportunities, and nurture new collaborations.
  • Guide people to use evidence of ‘what works’ to shape policy making and practice, and support them to generate meaningful evidence of their wellbeing impact.
  • Mobilise people to take evidence-informed action to improve lives and reduce wellbeing inequalities, and establish cultures where improvements in wellbeing are valued, meaningful and ambitious.

Our approach was to be trusted, independent, evidence-based, collaborative, practical, iterative and open.

Our focus was on where we can make the biggest difference:

  1. National wellbeing methods and measures
  2. Working age
  3. Place and community
  4. Loneliness and connection

Our audiences and collaborators were:

  • Government – national and local leaders, departments, and wider public sector bodies, commissioners and funders. 
  • Research – individuals and research organisations across the UK and globally.
  • Business –  large, small and multinational, and professional bodies.
  • Civil society – charities, social enterprises and community groups, as well as funders and commissioners.

We were part of the What Works Network and The Evidence Quarter. This network improves the way government and other organisations create, share and use high-quality, robust evidence for decision-making.

As a registered Community Interest Company, we were a non-profit organisation that relied on funding grants. View former funders and partners.


Explore the Centre’s story

Key moments from our work and history

Oct 29, 2014 | By Nancy Hey
What Works Centre for Wellbeing announced today
Centre Blog
Mar 30, 2017 | By Centre
New Board Appointments and Evidence Call on Housing
Centre Blog
May 11, 2017 | By Centre
Resource round up and Centre update
Centre Blog
Dec 26, 2018 | By Centre
Wellbeing evidence, policy and practice in 2018
Centre Blog
Jul 6, 2018 | By Centre
Evidence round-up and reflections
Centre Blog
Nov 28, 2018 | By Tricia
Wellbeing across the lifecourse: the big picture
Guest Blog
Jan 9, 2020 | By Centre
New research, guidance and opportunities in 2020
Centre Blog
Apr 3, 2019 | By Nancy Hey
New funding call: wellbeing methods and measures
Centre Blog
Apr 29, 2021 | By Centre
A decade of subjective wellbeing data
Centre Blog
Mar 31, 2021 | By Peter Cheese
Wellbeing – past, present, and future
Guest Blog
Jan 7, 2021 | By Centre
Campaign to End Loneliness joins the Centre
Centre Blog
Jul 14, 2022 | By Michael Sanders
Accelerating access to wellbeing datasets
Centre Blog
Dec 22, 2022 | By Robyn Bignall-Donnelly
2022 Impact – Our year in review
Centre Blog
Apr 27, 2023 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Celebrating 10 years of the What Works Network
Guest Blog
Mar 7, 2024 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Marking International Women’s Day: Women in wellbeing
Guest Blog
Feb 22, 2024 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
What we know about loneliness and connection 2014 – 2024
Guest Blog
Feb 1, 2024 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
What we know about wellbeing in place and community 2014 – 2024
Guest Blog
Mar 28, 2024 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
What we know about working age and workplace wellbeing 2014 – 2024
Guest Blog
Mar 21, 2024 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
What we know about national wellbeing, and the methods and measures to assess it 2014 – 2024
Guest Blog