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
April 2024

Our Legacy 2014-2024

Our Legacy 2014-2024


All What Works Centres, including ours, are based on the principle that good decision-making must be informed by the best available evidence. Where it is not available, we use robust methods to find out what works and share that collective learning with those who can put it into action.

We were set up in 2014 as an independent collaborating centre to improve wellbeing and reduce misery in the UK. We believe that this is the ultimate goal of effective policy and community action. 

Across the last 10 years, we have worked towards a future where:

  • Wellbeing is recognised as a meaningful and measurable goal for decision makers.
  • Knowledge of what works and how to implement it reaches people who can and want to use it.
  • More evidence-informed action is taken to improve people’s lives. 
  • More trials and studies are done which continue to build the evidence base.

Overall, we have:

  • Pioneered wellbeing measurement and evaluation as a way to track national progress and organisational impact.
  • Established an extensive body of insights and resources, bringing together the global knowledge base in an accessible, impactful and relevant way, using existing collective knowledge;
  • Used our expertise in wellbeing and evidence methodologies to proactively contribute to and grow knowledge of the fields of wellbeing, evidence, knowledge use and practise, helping to refine concepts, and platform discussions to move forward methodology.
  • Brought life to our rigorous evidence by translating and sharing findings in impact-focused, inclusive language and formats, and sharing evidence with policy makers and practitioners so that it has meaning where it counts.
  • Supported wellbeing in business and the workforce through developing relevant and robust guidance.
  • Developed practical tools, measures, methodologies and resources for the VCSE sector, as well as driving continuous capacity and capability building by deliver training and support.
  • Convened and mobilised our strong, active cross-sector network of experts and practitioners to identify where evidence can have the greatest impact including COVID-19, levelling up and reducing inequalities, and thinking beyond GDP.
  • Cultivated new partnerships and strengthened existing collaborations through conversation and knowledge sharing to learn more where there are evidence gaps, working out what those in policy and practice need to know to seed evidence-informed action to improve wellbeing.

This legacy report outlines the impact we have had over the past decade as we have delivered our mission to find out what works to improve wellbeing and partner to put that evidence into action, creating conditions for us all to thrive.

It shares our learnings, reflects on the challenges, and sets the direction for current and future actors in the wellbeing field.

Thank you to our staff, past and present, our founding partners, and all of the funders and collaborators over the last ten years whose vision and commitment has made our activity possible.

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