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

Maximise your local area wellbeing

About Maximise your local area wellbeing

Knowing ‘What Works’ to maximise wellbeing is important; but it is only part of the journey. It is important to know ‘how it works’ and most importantly ‘how to use and implement what we know works’.  We are on a mission to build a learning system for wellbeing.

We have partnered with a small group of Local Authorities to explore how to prepare local government policy in a way that maximises local wellbeing. These are:

Supported by our dedicated Local Authority lead, Joanne Smithson, our six-month programme provides tailored support to place wellbeing evidence at the heart of policy. 

Working together, we are building a learning community, providing a safe space for policy makers to reflect, share ideas, experiences and collectively improve. 

Over a six month period, from April to September 2021, we are testing a range of tools and techniques to:

  • Define what wellbeing means in local areas
  • Gather wellbeing data and assess wellbeing need
  • Source evidence of what works to improve wellbeing and review how this applies in each area
  • Select measures to understanding wellbeing impact
  • Effectively review and evaluate policy


10.03.2021 Working out what works in wellbeing – NHS Employers conference (download the visual summary)

16.03.2021 Strategic space and policy skills (download the slide deck)

18.03.2021 Wellbeing 101 (download the slide decks – part A and part B)



External resource

  • World Happiness Report – happiness and voting behaviour
  • ONS governance and trust wellbeing data
  • ONS income and wealth
  • Our World Data -Happiness and Life Satisfaction
In partnership with