Our focus over the last 10 months has been on how the pandemic, and its social and economic consequences, have affected wellbeing – and what a wellbeing-centred recovery means.
This year we will continue or focus on working age wellbeing; community and connection; and methodology – how we know – to understand what government, communities and businesses can do to protect and improve wellbeing.
Here is a preview of some of our work in 2021.
The Campaign to End Loneliness is joining the What Works Centre for Wellbeing
Our social relationships – of all kinds – are essential for our overall wellbeing as communities, individuals and as a nation. This has been highlighted by the pandemic.
Having someone to rely on in times of trouble is the number one determinant of high wellbeing in nations. Taking action to tackle loneliness and to improve the evidence base around effective interventions, through shared learning, is necessary and needs sustained effort.
To continue this effort, we are delighted to be formally working more closely with the Campaign to End Loneliness. We have worked hard to be complementary to each other in our contributions to action and knowledge on loneliness, civil society, community and connection and we are now able to bring these together.
With the Centre’s support, the Campaign will now expand its focus to loneliness across the life course: reducing loneliness in children, young people, and working age adults, as well as people in later life.
To make our new work programme as impactful as possible, we are recruiting:
Working in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we will also be sharing a new support network, information centre, and community of practice for anyone – in any sector – working to reduce loneliness. Sign up for updates to hear when this is launched in the coming months.
Also coming up in 2021
Improving methods and measures
- Guidance on wellbeing valuation for central government
We are supporting the publication of the new Valuation of Wellbeing Supplementary Guidance to the HM Treasury Green Book: appraisal and evaluation in central government. Read more about how our evidence has informed the Green Book and guidance.
- Children and young people’s wellbeing
We are working with the Children’s Society with funding from the Health Foundation, to publish a bank of questions and indicators for children’s wellbeing, looking at all aspects of what matters to young people and the best tools currently available to measure this.
- Improving case study evidence
We will be producing some new guidance for charities and funders on how to bring together and understand case study evidence.
Community and connection
- Guidance for measuring your wellbeing impact
In the coming weeks, we will be publishing a refreshed version of our popular wellbeing evaluation guide for charities and social enterprises, with a brand new measures bank.
- Different people, same place: community wellbeing
While social distancing has kept us all physically apart, community support has been more vital than ever. We are starting work on an exciting project – Different People, Same Place – with Birmingham and Warwick Universities, to understand and articulate how the wellbeing of people and the wellbeing of the collective communities we live in are related to one another.
- Data analysis on loneliness and social prescribing
This year we will start to see the first papers from our ESRC-funded data analysis projects projects, looking at loneliness and social prescribing interventions that can improve wellbeing.
- Dr Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL, leads a team looking at the wellbeing impact of various activities that result from social prescribing.
- Dr Praveetha Patalay, Associate Professor at the Institute of Education and Faculty of Population Health Sciences at UCL, will bring together the data on social isolation and subjective wellbeing across the life course.
- Dr Emily Long, MRC Skills Development Fellow, Institute of Health & Wellbeing Social Sciences, at Glasgow University, explores the impact of loneliness on the wellbeing of teens and young adults.
- Wellbeing at the heart of local government policy
Are you developing new policies to tackle inequality, refreshing your Health and Wellbeing Strategy, or updating a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment? Our Local Government specialist is bringing together a learning community to share the evidence, data and practice to help maximise the wellbeing impact of local government policy. We will be sharing more in the coming weeks, but you can get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information and discuss getting involved.
Working age wellbeing
- Business Leaders’ Council webinars
We will be running more of our popular Business Leaders’ Council webinars, and have already lined up guest speakers from The Carnegie UK Trust and the Money and Pensions Service, with whom we supported to produce the Financial Wellbeing Strategy UK. Sign up to our email alert to find out when the next webinars are happening.
- Supporting wellbeing as work changes
We will also continue developing the Workplace Wellbeing Question Bank, tailoring it to specific occupational groups, prioritising care workers, construction workers, teachers and teaching assistants, plus freelancers and the self-employed.
- Local government wellbeing at work webinar
For staff and teams working in local government, in February we will be offering a webinar on evidence-informed approaches to supporting and protecting wellbeing in the workplace. Sign up to our email alert to reserve a place as soon as they become available.