About us

At the What Works Centre for Wellbeing we believe that improving people’s wellbeing is the ultimate goal of effective policy and community action.

We are an independent collaborating centre that develops and shares robust and accessible wellbeing evidence to improve decision-making.

Read our strategy

We work closely with partners to answer key questions on what works to improve wellbeing and identify the gaps in the research to be filled. Our evidence is useful to and used by:

  • Governments: national, local, and the wider public sector.
  • Businesses: large, small and multi national, professional bodies.
  • Civil society: charities, social enterprises and community groups.

The Centre is a registered Community Interest Company. You can view all our current and former funders and partners here.

How do we do this?

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

Our mission is to develop and share robust, accessible and useful evidence that governments, businesses, communities and people use to improve wellbeing across the UK.

We do this by:

  • collating existing evidence on the effectiveness of programmes and practices;
  • producing high-quality synthesis reports and systematic reviews in areas where they do not currently exist;
  • assessing the effectiveness of policies and practices against an agreed set of outcomes;
  • filling gaps in the evidence base by commissioning new trials and evaluations;
  • sharing findings in an accessible way;
  • supporting practitioners, commissioners and policymakers to use these findings to inform their decision.

Our approach is:

  • trusted
  • independent
  • evidence-based
  • collaborative
  • practical
  • iterative
  • open

What is a What Works Centre?

We are 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.

Other members of the What Works Network are:

What Works Centre Policy area
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Health and social care
Education Endowment Foundation Educational achievement
College of Policing What Works Centre for Crime Reduction Crime reduction
What Works for Early Intervention & Children’s Social Care Early intervention & children’s social care
What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth Local economic growth
Centre for Ageing Better Improving quality of life for older people
What Works Centre for Wellbeing Wellbeing
Centre for Homelessness Impact Homelessness
Youth Futures Foundation Youth employment
Affiliate: Youth Endowment Fund Youth offending
Affiliate: Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education Higher Education
Affiliate: The Money and Pensions Service Financial wellbeing
Associate: Wales Centre for Public Policy


A diagram detailing different What Works Centres including, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Education Endowment Foundation, College of Policing, What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, Early Intervention Foundation, What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, Centre for Ageing Better.



Explore the Centre’s story so far

Key moments from our work and history

Oct 29, 2014 | By Nancy Hey
What Works Centre for Wellbeing announced today
Centre Blog
Dec 2, 2014 | By centredevelopment
Videos from our launch events 29th October – Part 2 Bristol
Guest 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
Jan 2, 2018 | By Nancy Hey
New evidence, guidance and research coming up 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 2, 2019 | By Centre
How can wellbeing evidence inform your work in 2019?
Centre Blog
Jan 9, 2020 | By Centre
New research, guidance and opportunities in 2020
Centre Blog
Dec 4, 2019 | By Andrea
What’s happening across the What Works Network?
Guest Blog
Apr 3, 2019 | By Nancy Hey
New funding call: wellbeing methods and measures
Centre Blog
Apr 29, 2021 | By
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 Robyn
Campaign to End Loneliness joins the Centre
Centre Blog
Jul 14, 2022 | By Michael Sanders
Accelerating access to wellbeing datasets
Centre Blog
Feb 17, 2022 | By
2022 Wellbeing conferences and seminars
Centre Blog
Dec 22, 2022 | By Robyn Bignall-Donnelly
2022 Impact – Our year in review
Centre Blog
Jan 5, 2023 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
What’s coming up in 2023: wellbeing projects, conferences and seminars
Guest Blog
Apr 27, 2023 | By What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Celebrating 10 years of the What Works Network
Guest Blog