The Network of Wellbeing exists to advance education, research and practice by charitable means for the benefit of the public in the fields of health, wellbeing and the environment.
The Network of Wellbeing’s vision is of a world where everyone’s wellbeing needs are met within the planet’s natural limits. We believe that lasting wellbeing comes not from what we buy but from what we do and that individuals cannot achieve wellbeing by acting alone. Our wellbeing depends on the wellbeing of the community in which we live and work, while the wellbeing of our community depends on the wellbeing of society as a whole and the long-term health of the natural world on which we all depend.
So actions to promote wellbeing cannot simply be those that make us happier. Our wellbeing wellbeing must support, not come at the expense of, others’ or the planet. This is not about sacrificing individual wellbeing: caring effectively for our personal wellbeing can be done in a way that supports the community in which we live, the society of which we are part and the natural world which sustains all of our lives. For us, at NOW, wellbeing means healthier people, happier communities and a sustainable planet.
We call this holistic wellbeing.
The Network is currently reaching the end of a strategy process, undertaken to determine its aims for the next three years. Our latest draft aims are:
• To build a community of interest of people and organisations who are committed to the concept of holistic wellbeing.
We will achieve this by developing our online communications including our website and social media presence and by organising events where online followers can come together. We have a website (www.networkofwellbeing.org), an established presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and a developing one on Instagram. We are steadily amassing a series of online videos, featuring key thinkers on wellbeing, which can be viewed through our website or our YouTube channel. For the last two years, we have supported the Resurgence Festival of Wellbeing and will take over responsibility for organising it in 2016.
• To co-create and promote activities that demonstrate the value of strong communities of place, demonstrably improve community cohesion and enable people to improve their wellbeing.
We will achieve this by supporting local action to improve wellbeing in Totnes and beyond. In Totnes, we have already established monthly Potluck suppers where up to 300 people come together to share a friendly meal. We have launched the Totnes Wellbeing Fund to give small grants (of under £500) for local activities, such as gardening groups, which improve wellbeing. Further afield, we are working with Friends of the Earth to support wellbeing initiatives led by their local groups.
• To identify and implement actions or research to further the wellbeing agenda nationally and internationally.
We have yet to decide how to further this aim but are exploring the possible research projects as well as the scope for a larger awareness-raising project. We have also developed an extensive database of research on wellbeing issues.
For further information on the Network of Wellbeing, visit our website www.networkofwellbeing.org.