We have spoken with over 4,000 people and organisations to develop the What Works Centre for
Wellbeing and its delivery plan. This included six wellbeing public dialogues around the UK and consultation with people working in the wellbeing field, these public dialogues brought together members of
the public and policy makers to discuss wellbeing and understand what matters to people.
Here we summarise our public dialogue findings alongside feedback from people working on wellbeing
and set out our first delivery plan until June 2018.
Who we spoke to
Wellbeing is about people. Fundamental to this is asking people how they feel and taking that into account. So our starting point is listening to what people say is important to their wellbeing and why. We ran a series of six public dialogues around the UK – in Falkirk, Belfast, South Tyneside, Bristol, London and Cardiff – on our three initial evidence themes to understand what matters to people to inform the development of the Centre and its delivery plan.
We spoke to a wide range of people from backgrounds who had different experiences of the topics being discussed. The diverse range of participants has helped us to understand that there are some fundamentals that matter to everyone and some things where people diverge in what they’re looking for in a good life. Here we present a summary of views, more detail is available in the individual reports for each topic.
Some of what we heard might sound simple and straightforward but it’s the simplicity that means that they can get overlooked when organisations act or we design policy. Alongside the things we all might recognise as important parts of our lives there are also some surprising findings.
This is what the public told us.
CloseWho we spoke to
What they said
As members of the public, we understand wellbeing as confidence, a sense of self-worth and a good quality of life. We use quality of life, wellbeing, happiness, life satisfaction and flourishing inter-changeably. There are nuances to our experiences but how we speak about these concepts is very similar.
Key to wellbeing
feeling safe, financially comfortable, good physical and mental health, good food, job, housing, natural environment and transport
feeling loved, respected and appreciated, belonging, positive connections, time alone, appreciation of difference and part of something bigger
We want to be asked, and talk about, our wellbeing. We think we are responsible for our own wellbeing and supporting others in their wellbeing. We want to see options that enable people to decide for themselves. By understanding how our activity affects our wellbeing, and why that matters, we can create the conditions for us all to thrive.
CloseWhat they said
Public dialogue toolkit
Want to run a public dialogue yourself?
We have produced a toolkit to help you scope and deliver a wellbeing public dialogue process.
The toolkit addresses the following questions: What is a public dialogue? What does it involve? What is unique about a wellbeing dialogue? When to use public dialogues and why? How to run them and who you can get to run them for you.
We really enjoyed running our Public Dialogues. They were well-received and we hope the insights on what wellbeing means to people from all over the UK are proving useful.
It’s really important to engage, and continue to engage people in conversation about what matters to them, especially in the area of wellbeing. So we are continuing this conversation….
Our Public Dialogues were independently evaluated: you can read the report