Month: March 2017

New Board Appointments and Evidence Call on Housing

Board & Advisory Appointments The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is pleased to announce four new Board member and one new Advisory Panel member appointments. We are delighted to welcome new Board members Sarah Blunn, Partner and Head of Corporate Real Estate at RPC Paul Najsarek, Chief Executive Ealing Council Charlotte Pickles, Deputy Director and Head of Research at Reform think tank Eleanor Budden, Head of Health and Insurance for Goldman Sachs EMEA and new Advisory Panel member Dr Fiona Adshead, Chief Wellbeing Officer at Bupa Evidence call: Housing Intervention Evaluations What’s happening? What Works Centre for Wellbeing, with the University of Sheffield, are carrying out a systematic review to find out how well housing interventions work to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people with vulnerable housing status. We are particularly interested in housing interventions designed to tackle homelessness and create sustainable tenancies.  The review team will be doing a careful search for published material, but would also like to include ‘grey’ literature – such as evaluations that have yet to be published, or reports and evaluations produced by charities, housing associations, government departments, or community groups. How can you get involved? If you are aware of an evaluation of a housing intervention, you can submit it to our systematic review and help us build an evidence base for housing interventions. We are particularly seeking evidence that meets the following criteria:...

Read More

What can children in the care system tell us about their wellbeing?

Professor Julie Selwyn is a Professor and Director of the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies at the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol. Here, she shares the findings from the new report she co-authored, Our Lives, Our Care: Looked after children’s views on their well-being. There were 70, 440 children in care in England as of 31 March 2016, according to the Department for Education. The majority of children enter care because of parental abuse and neglect and often enter with physical, emotional and behavioural difficulties as a result of traumatic experiences. Every year ‘outcome’ data are collected and published by the Department for Education on children’s educational achievements, offending, mental health, and number of teenage pregnancies. Children’s experiences not heard across system Generally, children in care do not achieve the same level of academic success as their peers and are much more likely to have problems with crime, drugs and have poor mental health. Consequently, the care system is often viewed as failing but there is no systematic collection of information on how children feel about their lives in care. Nor do we know whether children in care emphasise the same aspects of their lives as being important to their well-being, as those identified by children in the general population. Creating the surveys In partnership with Coram Voice (a children’s rights charity)...

Read More

Unemployment and (re)employment: what works for wellbeing?

  Download the second briefing in our Work and Wellbeing: What Works series, unemployment, (re)employment and wellbeing.   Kevin Daniels is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at University of East Anglia and leads the Work, Learning and Wellbeing evidence programme for our Centre. Here, he gives an overview of the findings from our latest systematic review into unemployment, (re)employment and wellbeing and digs deeper into the evidence. Our latest systematic review looks at the impact of losing, changing and getting a job on our wellbeing. It might seem like a simple relationship – we need to work to pay rent, after all – but in reality our work often means more to us than income alone. This means becoming unemployed, or finding work, impacts us in profound ways. And not just us as individuals: our families and communities are affected too. When we asked members of the public, business leaders, trades unionists and others about the wellbeing effects of unemployment and employment the clear priority emerged as improving job opportunities and promoting high quality, sustainable jobs. Unemployment is damaging to wellbeing regardless of personal characteristics. Longer spells of unemployment are more damaging than short spells to wellbeing and there is very little evidence of adaptation – that is, wellbeing improving as people learn to cope with unemployment.   There are differences in how the length and frequency of unemployment affect...

Read More

A budget to increase wellbeing in the UK? #Budget2017

The purpose of our economic growth is to improve the quality of life and prosperity of people in the UK.  This budget has some potential wellbeing gains, but also misses some opportunities which we set out  yesterday.  The Chancellor’s focus on opportunity through learning and training is backed by the research: evidence shows that continuing to learn throughout life is not only useful for developing skills and improving job prospects, it can improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. Unemployment has a bigger impact on our wellbeing than loss of earnings and it will be interesting to see what difference the support for returning to work makes to wellbeing of those out of the labour market in caring roles where evidence is currently missing. Likewise, the Living wage increase should see wellbeing impacts as the wellbeing impact of increased income is  greater for lower paid than better off, pound for pound. What this budget does miss is mental health which has the biggest impact on our satisfaction with life – this is important enough that it deserves special mention. Nancy Hey, Director, What Works Centre for Wellbeing Work Unemployment is always damaging to wellbeing. Men tend to suffer more from unemployment, however new evidence suggests women who are committed to their careers suffer more than men. Return to work is good for wellbeing but it has to be good work”...

Read More

What would a wellbeing budget 2017 look like?

Over 50 years of research has told us how we can improve wellbeing through Government policy. Will these feature in the budget? Work and the Economy Think creatively about incentivising ‘good jobs’ This budget needs to prioritise reducing unemployment and creating high quality jobs. Previous business rate proposals meant that rates for pubs, shops, GP surgeries hospitals could be set for increases as high as 400 per cent. This creates a short-term danger that a business’ biggest overhead could be cut: employees.  Unemployment is one of the most important things the Government should care about in a wellbeing budget. Becoming unemployed has among the most damaging effects on wellbeing and mental health, alongside health and relationships. The wellbeing impacts of unemployment go beyond the impacts of income.  If someone is unemployed for more than a year, their wellbeing will  permanently be lower – it increases once back in employment, but doesn’t increase back to previous levels. Where a parent has been unemployed in the past, their adolescent children will have lower wellbeing and self confidence, years later and after their parents are back in employment. Being in a job is good for wellbeing and being in a ‘high quality’ job is even better. We don’t mean a certain skill level, type or industry. It’s about what makes a job worthwhile for us. Things like how secure it is, the...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Recent Tweets