Giving happiness a new angle and helping churches tackle anxiety and social isolation was the order of the day at a community event this week. Hosted by Livability and attended by church and community leaders from around the country, the charity has just launched an updated course called ‘Happiness’ – and have plans to take the agenda to a new audience.
Livability are now signing people up to their next training session for course leaders on the 16th March 2017, as well as ‘taster’ experiences for those interested in training.
Corin Pilling, Deputy Director of Public Engagement at Livability says:
“This year, the UK National Wellbeing Index identified an increase in anxiety in our communities. Churches have a key role in building community wellbeing and already make a significant contribution to tackling isolation, yet we want to equip them further. We’ve developed the course because we believe that people in our communities are looking for new opportunities to connect with each other. Exploring happiness together helps build new connections and offers the chance to make choices that lead to real change.”
The course aims to grow wellbeing and build community – by exploring attitudes to happiness using global research, and by offering discussion, films and exercises. Written by Livability and drawing from leading thinkers in the fields of positive psychology and personal development, the course has seen 200 people train to deliver the course in communities across the UK. Leaders report a picture of individuals impacted by new friendships, renewed relationships and participants taking new directions in life.
The course has already been used by a range of church and community leaders across the UK, including a RAF Chaplain and a Tower Hamlets Community Worker.
Rev Cris Archer, Chaplain in the Royal Air Force said in an interview said:
“I was looking for a resource that I could use to engage more positively with our community. I came across The Happiness Course, and the name just grabbed me. Who doesn’t want to be happy? I thought this would be a great way to bring people together and a way for us as chaplains to engage with more people.”
As a chaplain, Cris sees first-hand the issues that affect those in the RAF community. “Being away from home comes with all sorts of pressures. You are separated from loved ones for long periods of time. Moving around has a direct impact on family life, such as finding schools and jobs for loved ones.”
Alison Jones is a community worker in Tower Hamlets, who has run the course several times in her community. She said:
“Of one group that did the course, they reported in real shift in their thinking. They were very enthusiastic about the course,” said Alison. “They told me it made them really think about their values –and their faith – and how they shared those values with their children.”
[column type=”1/3″] “It is great to have a course on wellbeing that has Christian themes but is not explicit. The course gives people an opportunity to think about their feelings and give them practical tools they can use. It is very much relevant to the needs that people have today.” [/column] [column type=”1/3″] “The Happiness Course is an excellent tool to help people explore the meaning of life and the path to personal fulfilment and contentment. We have had great results and feedback; it is a refreshing approach to life and all its challenges.” [/column] [column type=”1/3″ last=”true”] “I see the course as a bridge between the church and the community. I believe it is exactly the sort of course that can provide a useful bridge to further courses such as Alpha.” [/column][clear][gap size=”20px”]
The new course material has been updated to reflect new developments in research and in response to feedback from leaders and participants. The new course offers increased support on how to make the changes to lead to a more fulfilled life.
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