Month: May 2016

Call for Evidence: Worklessness, exits from work and wellbeing

We are reviewing the evidence of how worklessness – not  being in paid work and exits from work affect wellbeing.   By worklessness we mean not being in regular employment or education/training, because of unemployment, retirement, disability or family care. We are specifically interested in evidence which relates to the following research questions: What are the potential effects of not being in paid work on wellbeing? How does the duration of not being in paid work affect wellbeing? What are the impacts of changes in wellbeing on worklessness, duration of worklessness and the subsequent transitions? We are looking for...

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Social Capital across the UK

Last week the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a report on Social Capital across the UK which looked at 5 measures of how people feel about their neighbourhood. It highlighted that personal characteristics such as age, ethnicity and socio-economic background all have a role to play in explaining differences that exist between regions, urban and rural areas.  Here, Dr Veronique Siegler, Senior Research Officer at  ONS,  leading the project on Social Capital since 2014, as part of the ONS programme of work on Wellbeing shares some insights from the project: Our research shows that for the UK as a...

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New insights into wellbeing from the European Social Survey

 Saamah Abdallah, Programme Manager and Senior Researcher New Economics Foundation and What Works Wellbeing Community team. Last Friday marked the launch of an innovative new report exploring the policy stories told by wellbeing data in the European Social Survey – Looking through the wellbeing kaleidoscope.  The report is the culmination of a year-long project led by the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys at City University London, working alongside the New Economics Foundation, and the Wellbeing Institute at the University of Cambridge. Whilst much useful wellbeing research has relied upon life satisfaction as an overall measure of wellbeing –  this project took advantage of the richness of the European Social Survey, which has now included two specific modules on wellbeing, to explore its multi-dimensionality. Here are eight of the most interesting things you’ll find in the report: Results for a new comprehensive psychological wellbeing measure. It incorporates ten different aspects of wellbeing – competence, emotional stability, engagement, meaning, optimism, positive emotion, positive relationships, resilience, self-esteem, and vitality. The UK ranks second from bottom in terms of sense of vitality. As well as the overall comprehensive score, the report explores how different elements of wellbeing vary between countries. For example.  The UK relatively well in terms of optimism (8th out of 21 countries),  but not so well in terms of vitality or positive relationships (16th out of 21). There are often...

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Will this Queen's Speech improve wellbeing in UK?

Over 50 years of wellbeing research suggests that governments could improve wellbeing, and reduce wellbeing inequalities, by focusing on: Mental Health, social & emotional skills, partner relationships and physical health Community wellbeing including social support, volunteering, giving and social contectedness to reduce loneliness Balanced stable economic growth, low unemployment and wellbeing at work Good governance including devolving power, anti-corruption, freedom to choose, faster, less contracted, processes especially for children and families At an individual level there are five ways to wellbeing – Give, Connect, Take Notice, Be Active, Keep Learning. Does this Queen’s speech address any of these? The life chances approach is an opportunity to address inequalities in wellbeing that lead to poor outcomes both for those individuals involved and the affect on our national and community wellbeing.  We all benefit from reduced inequalities in wellbeing.  The proposed indicators for life chances needs to include personal wellbeing. There is a a focus on better mental health provision for individuals in the Criminal Justice System, on speeding up processes for children in care, and for adult learning. Improving the speed and efficiency of court processes should improve governance which has an unexpectedly large impact on our wellbeing.  We’re not always great at looking after our future wellbeing so the focus on savings should help. There is potential for digital services to help connect people, improve services and increase learning...

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Will this Queen’s Speech improve wellbeing in UK?

Over 50 years of wellbeing research suggests that governments could improve wellbeing, and reduce wellbeing inequalities, by focusing on: Mental Health, social & emotional skills, partner relationships and physical health Community wellbeing including social support, volunteering, giving and social contectedness to reduce loneliness Balanced stable economic growth, low unemployment and wellbeing at work Good governance including devolving power, anti-corruption, freedom to choose, faster, less contracted, processes especially for children and families At an individual level there are five ways to wellbeing – Give, Connect, Take Notice, Be Active, Keep Learning. Does this Queen’s speech address any of these? The life...

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