World Kindness Day, 2020
Creating LoveLeigh kindness
The National Happiness Awards are held each November and are all about spreading happiness and positivity. But this year the event, organised by Laughology, has had to be cancelled because of coronavirus.
However, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to team up with a worthwhile cause - as we do every year. So, in 2020, we are working with the charity, LoveLeigh. And it's our mission together to start spreading kindness on World Kindness Day, November 13th.
When we heard the story of Leigh Smith, we couldn’t help but be moved. Leigh was 22, vivacious and, as far as those around her knew, was looking forward to a bright future.
On August 6th, 2012, she took her life. Her family and friends were devastated. They had no idea that she was so unhappy and desperate.
In order to try and make sense of such a tragedy her mother vowed to help others struggling with depression, anxiety, loneliness, and mental health issues. She resolved to do everything she could to make sure people who feel like Leigh felt know that they are worthy, needed and not alone.
She set up LoveLeigh. Its mission is to help fight the stigma of mental health by carrying out acts of kindness and encouraging others to do the same. It also provides bereavement support.
As part of our 30-days of Kindness campaign, we’ve created resources including a poster for schools filled with ideas for kind acts, plus packs of mini-cards of kindness. These little k-bombs of happiness can be filled with kind messages and sent to people, or simply left for strangers to find.
We’re also encouraging everyone to tweet about their own acts of kindness and to reclaim social media for good by sending kind messages to others using the hashtags #sharingkindness and #loveleigh.
You can download printable versions of these resources from this page.
You can find out more at LoveLeigh.net and also make a donation.
No one needs to be along and struggling in these difficult times. There are lots of incredible organisations in the UK doing amazing work helping to support people struggling with mental health issues such as depression. They include The Samaritans, Calm , Papyrus and Mind. If you need help, please reach out, they are waiting for your call.
On Friday 22nd November 2019 we rolled out the red carpet to welcome this year's National Happiness Awards finalists and crown the winners. Our all-singing, all-dancing ceremony was attended by happiness heroes from around the UK, all eager to find out who had won.
National Happiness Awards founder and Laughology CEO Stephanie Davies said: “What a night! The awards truly are the Oscars of the wellbeing world. We had some amazing finalists and it was truly encouraging to see so many organisations, leaders and individuals taking happiness seriously, and letting their hair down and having fun. At a time when there is so much uncertainty in the country, it has been refreshing to see so much positivity.”
The awards were sponsored by Gold sponsors, Twinkl and Simply Better Events, and Silver sponser Crown House Publishing.
Awards judge and Twinkl Chief Customer Officer, Leon Smith, said: "Schools, individuals and businesses do things each day to make people happy and it's something that we should take more time to celebrate. It's so positive that happiness and wellbeing are becoming an increasing focus in education and beyond. I hope people will be inspired by all the incredible winners and nominees to recognise someone who makes them happy and give them a big thank you too."
The National Happiness Awards are the UK’s premier happiness and wellbeing event. They recognise the happiness heroes in business, the public sector and schools throughout the UK.
Winners and runners-up will receive their awards at a glittering London-based awards ceremony. Nominations close on 29th October. There are 5 free-to-enter categories - don't miss out - nominate today.
“We work really hard to look after our people and make the office a great place to work. It is great to win.”
"We recently had a good Ofsted. But winning this award is what it's all about."
“These awards are amazing. Happiness is so important in all walks of life.”
Prizes are great - who doesn't love a prize. But the prize of recognition and appreciation will last a lifetime. That's why a simple nomination boosts confidence, increases happiness and wellbeing, and shows how much someone is valued by their friends and colleagues.
Hit the button - spread the happiness!
“It is great recognition for all the team does, and recognises the importance of increasing happiness.”
“It is great recognition for all the team does, and recognises the importance of increasing happiness.”
"It is an honour to win an award like this."
Each nominated school or school person will automatically be entered in a prize draw to win a year’s subscription to a Twinkl Ultimate package and a 3-year licence to the Happy Centred School programme. The package is worth over £900.
Education gold sponsor
Twinkl exists ‘To help those who teach’ and provides online educational resources and services used by schools and educators across the world. We are incredibly excited to be the Gold sponsor of the Laughology awards 2019, which recognise and support the happiness and wellbeing of schools, organisations and people across the UK.
Like everyone at Laughology, the team at Twinkl believe that happy people work better and also think that people teach and learn better when they are happy too. We have been really inspired by previous winners of the National Happiness Awards and are proud to be part of this year’s event.
Simply Better Events
Simply Better Events are a full service events agency you can trust to deliver every time.
We’re proud to work with some of the UK's best-loved brands, helping them to create remarkable experiences that inspire their staff, customers or stakeholders to think, feel and do things differently.
The art of advertising and printing
From complete management of the design and print process, to efficient distribution of deliverables, we save our customers time, money and hassle. No matter what your print requirement, we have the people and the processes to deliver an immaculate service across a complete spectrum of products.
We are a one-stop-shop for print and advertising procurement solutions. No caveats. No small print.
Take your imagination on an adventure!
Crown House Publishing
Crown House Publishing is an award-winning publisher of professional development resources for teachers and school leaders.
We are dedicated to publishing top quality books that help schools to nurture skilled, intuitive, self-directed learners who can think independently and work collaboratively and who are emotionally resilient enough to cope with challenges and realise their full learning potential.
We are delighted to be sponsoring the Laughology Happiness Awards as laughter and enjoyment are vital both to improving wellbeing in schools and to the learning process in general.
Bottles and Bags
Bottles and Bags is a small, independent firm specialising in re-usable water bottles, coffee cups, and bags; all custom-branded with your company's logo or artwork.
Our clients range from schools and sports clubs to large corporations. We prefer a personal approach allowing product artwork to be proof-approved before printing to ensure the end result is just as desired.
If you are looking to help reduce plastic waste by introducing re-usable water bottles and drinking cups to your organisation, then visit us at .
87% of people who had been abducted by aliens said receiving Laughology award updates helped increase their sense of wellbeing. The other 13% moved to Basingstoke!
Bupa Place: Happiest Workplace
Bupa Place’s submission got to the heart of how the company has designed its new workspace around the wellbeing of its people.
The nomination succinctly explained the range of initiatives and physical design features that enable employees to work in a healthy, supportive and happy environment, and how the new centre improves the lives of those who work there.
Judges were impressed by the scale and range of happiness and wellbeing considerations that the company detailed, including flexible hotdesking, social spaces, flexible working hours, a wellbeing suite, showers on every floor, private faith rooms, sustainable travel options and IT support to enable more flexible working patterns.
The submission also detailed the strong social and community element of the workplace and Bupa’s commitment to the personal and professional development of its employees. The submission was supported by photographs and videos showing evidence of the fundamental commitment Bupa Place makes to its people’s happiness and wellbeing.
Flakefleet Primary School: Happiest Primary School
Flakefleet’s submission included an honest and passionate statement by Dave McPartlin, Flakefeet Headteacher, in which he described how he and his staff have turned around a struggling school using kindness, happiness and personal responsibility.
The submission detailed the compassionate, innovative and revolutionary schemes dreamed up by staff to raise morale and develop pride in the school while building support throughout the school community and the locality. These initiatives included support for deprived pupils and their families, visits to a local care home and the making of hugely popular, hilarious viral videos to commemorate events such as the royal wedding. The submission explained how the school used social media to connect with parents and pupils and to build a solid community where people wanted to be involved and engaged.
Staff health and wellbeing was placed at the heart of the school. The submission detailed how discounted childcare was available on-site and how leadership put together a team to seek ways to enhance mental health and wellbeing.
The submission also looked to future plans which included a school petting zoo, a school radio station and a Christmas number one. Evidence came in the form of videos and a parent survey. The school also submitted a very helpful grid which detailed clearly which initiatives and evidence collated to which judging criteria.
Closing date for applications: 29th October 2019
Laughology is all about the science of happiness. Our high-brow boffins have studied it and worked out the equation for creating happy people and organisations.
Confidence + personal development + mutual support + positive relationships + coping skills = happiness
Any organisation, leader or person that takes measures to promote these five elements will be creating happiness. And the judges will be looking for evidence of each of these themes in your submission.
Check out the links below to discover what the judges look for in team and individual categories and also have a look at the judging criteria for ideas about how organisations – both workplaces and schools - can create happiness. We hope this information helps, but most of all, the judges want to hear your unique stories and the innovative ways you are putting happiness at the heart of what you do. So don’t get too hung up on the detail. And don’t forget, our judges love material such as photos, videos, testimonials, feedback and press cuttings.
Each year the National Happiness Awards team are honoured to partner with an esteemed panel of successful leaders who judge the nominations.
We will announce this year's judges after we have bribed them to take part with a lifetime supply of Curly Wurlys - the official chocolate-based snack of the National Happiness Awards 2019.
David is Managing Director and co-founder of Crown House Publishing. He worked for British Gas in management services before starting in education publishing. His company’s books focus on positive education and independent thinking and learning.
What David is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2018 -
A person or school who is relentlessly positive in everything they do and who inspires others to be the same. Someone who looks for the best in others and encourages them to shine.
Wayne is MD of UK Heath Services and has worked for Bupa since 1992. He has held many senior roles within the company in the capacity of CEO/ MD and CFO.
He is a trusted leader and entrepreneur and has accumulated considerable experience in business turnarounds, acquisitions, re-engineering, joint ventures and partnerships. He is experienced in sponsoring and managing complex multi-million pound projects and managing business change. He also has a keen eye for everyday business improvement. He builds strong teams and encourages those around him to take on new challenges, actively promoting personal development. He is also used to working in highly regulated environments with multiple stakeholders.
Wayne has a degree in Accounting and Finance, a Master’s in Management and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He is also a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors. He has attended Cranfield University and London Business School on their senior development programs.
Wayne is married to Deb and has three children. He enjoys reading, keeping fit and classic cars.
Nina is an International Education Consultant, author, award winning speaker and is a leading practitioner in outstanding learning and teaching, mental health and wellbeing. She has a particular gift of working with SEND and engaging disaffected learners. Her training courses on all aspects of Learning and Teaching always leave educationalists wanting more - she is in high demand for working with teachers, students and educationalists alike. She is an Associate Director with 'Independent Thinking Ltd'.
Winner of the IPDA International Prize for Education and described by the TES as an ‘inspirational, evangelical preacher of education’, Nina is a tour-de-force when it comes to enlivening teaching and learning for all. Her background as an innovative teacher and leader of learning, trainer and education consultant has had an overwhelming impact on education both in the UK and on an international basis. She has worked with the Ministry of Education, UNESCO and UNICEF in Chile, Ghana, India, China and the Middle East. She has devised therapy programmes and curriculums of engagement for reluctant learners and has delivered training to teachers from Early Years to Higher Education.
Nina is one of the happiest, effervescent personalities in education today and puts her own learning, and the learning of others at the heart of everything she believes in. Many will know her as a ‘Ninja – who loves to move in mysterious ways’.
What Nina is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2019 – In a time when individuals, groups of people, the workplace, education and communities are under a great deal of pressure, I’m looking for special individuals and schools, those extra ordinary heroes of happiness that bring joy, hope and love to others (as well as themselves) to show and share with us their special ways that keep us all going in this crazy world of accountability. Quite simply, I want you to make me smile a lot.
Dave is Headteacher at Flakefleet Primary School in Fleetwood, winners of the Happiest Primary School 2018, one-time Christmas No. 1 Contender and Britain’s Got Talent Finalist in 2019. Dave’s #daretodream philosophy permeates all aspects of school life and his mission to develop resilience, nurture self-confidence and raise aspirations is relentless. The school employs a large number of staff to successfully support the various challenges that their children and families face, both in and out of school. A positive and optimistic culture that encourages continuous personal development and the embracing of innovation and change is at the heart of Dave’s mission at the school. Parental and community engagement is very high, staff retention rates are 100% over the last few years, pupil numbers are increasing, and standards continue to rise. Dave knows that a happy school is a successful school.
What's made you laugh a lot recently?
I cried with laughter when I sent my other half the wrong phone number for someone to fix our washing machine. There were two Elaines in my phone book, one knew about washing machines, the other didn’t. I sent her the number of Elaine who didn’t. My other half (and Elaine) couldn’t figure out what each other was on about and it all got very confusing - turns out people who do curriculum training aren’t that good at fixing kitchen appliances.
What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?
Couldn’t decide between splitting my trousers whilst on the climbing frame with the kids or turning up to a governing body meeting in fancy dress because I’d forgotten my change of clothes.
What makes you truly happy?
It may sound a bit cheesy, but I really like helping people feel better about themselves or to feel empowered to make positive changes in their lives.
What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?
It’s not corporate jargon as such but I really hated it when a previous Ofsted chief came in to post saying "If anyone says to you that 'staff morale is at an all-time low' you know you are doing something right." What a load of rubbish – a happy workforce with clear expectations and support has to be more productive and have a greater impact. The idea that the best bosses are ‘tough’ is a load of rubbish.
What would be your superpower and why?
I’d love to be able to control the weather – I’m not a big fan of the dark winter months but do love a bit of sledging!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself, stop worrying about what other people will think and go for it.
What would fix the world?
More thought and consideration for each other.
Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?
Kylie Minogue for the music (honest), Derren Brown for a bit of magic, Robbie Williams for the stories, Tony Blair for a bit of politics to stir things up and Nigella Lawson to help with the food.
What Dave is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2019
I'm looking for a clear determination from applicants to develop a happy and optimistic culture through innovative and creative ways that challenge long-held norms but lead to successful outcomes.
Physiologist Nerina Ramlakhan PhD has over 20 years experience in maximising individual and organisational performance. She founded BUPA’s Corporate Wellbeing Solutions and has worked extensively in the public and private sector.
After completing her post-doctoral training and research into the effects of lifestyle interventions on mental disorders, she spent five years in corporate health screening before studying organisational psychiatry and psychology at Guys Hospital. For over a decade she worked with the Nightingale Psychiatric Hospital in London on their sleep, energy & physical health programmes.
Nerina’s work with individuals and organisations includes motivational and leadership programmes, wellness and energy programmes, return to work coaching following long-term sickness absence and burnout prevention. She also runs regular sleep/energy workshops for women recovering from cancer at the Haven Centre in Fulham.
Nerina’s work is featured regularly in the national press and she has appeared on BBC radio, GMTV, ITV’s This Morning, CNN and SKY NEWS.
Nerina is the sleep advisor to the Silent Night bed company and Melia Hotels and Resorts.
What Nerina is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2018 -
I'll be looking for initiatives that bring happiness into organisations and examples of the impact these have. How do they engage their people and are the initiatives measurable? For the individual awards I'll be looking at the actions the nominees do and how these impact on the people around them. Is their happiness infectious?
Leon is Twinkl’s Chief Customer Officer and one of our National Happiness Awards judges.
Leon taught KS1 and Lower KS2 for over five years before joining Twinkl in 2015. She has always been a huge champion of Twinkl’s mission; ‘to help those who teach’. As Chief Customer Officer she wants everyone who uses Twinkl to have the best experience possible.
Leon oversees the customer support and customer experience teams, which provide 24/7 support to educators across the world.
This year she is driving a focus on wellbeing, leading her team to explore what more Twinkl can do to support schools and educators in this area. In her own words Leon and her team ‘make people happy’, which is one of the reasons she is so pleased to be judging the National Happiness awards.
Leon lives in Sheffield and loves to spend time with her children in the great outdoors taking advantage of the city’s parks and its close proximity to the Peak District.
She is passionate about supporting the happiness and wellbeing of educators and school communities world-wide, believing that an effective learning environment is a happy one.
What Leon is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2019 - Leon is hoping to find entries that focus on and involve people from across communities and include strong examples of where people have done things for the right reasons and put others first.
She is also looking for entries where people have tried new things and dared to be different in order to bring happiness to those around them.
As a ‘frequent crier’, anything funny, inspiring or joyous enough to turn on the water works will be a hit with Leon too!
Gill joined CIPD in July 2012 as Head of CIPD Training and was appointed a director for the newly formed directorate of careers & CPD in September 2013. Since then she has taken responsibility for the content, commercial, regional and international teams. She is currently the business and markets development director. Her remit covers commercial enterprises, business development and the international and regional areas.
Gill delivers speeches and workshops around the world which focus on the future of learning and development, leadership, strategic alignment and behavioural science.
Prior to working for the CIPD, Gill has held a variety of L&D leadership roles at Vodafone, Xchanging and SSP. She also held operational roles at consultancy IDology, Whitbread, Greenall’s and Vodafone.
Gill holds the prestigious IOD chartered director status, one of only 1,000 in the UK. She is also a fellow of both the IOD and CIPD. Gill’s main passion beyond learning and behavioural science remains her love of wine, something she studied to degree level when working in the trade. She is never happier than when reading a book on the brain, accompanied by a nice pinot noir.
What Gill is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2018 -
What I look for is the additional evidence – like videos or photos that help bring the entry to life. Anything that really helps demonstrate the impact that the intervention has had makes it more compelling.
Rob is managing director of Simply Better Events, a full-service events agency. Their purpose is to inspire people to think, feel and do things differently and they do this by creating remarkable event experiences.
Simply Better recognise the important role that live events have in creating positive employee engagement, which in turn leads to a happier, more productive workplace.
What Rob is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2019 - “Afters” are key for me. It’s not just about programmes or processes that have been put in place, but more about the tangible impact that these initiatives have had…so measurement is key!
The criteria for the National Happiest Workplace is a bit of a whopper, so we thought you may prefer it in a downloadable Word format - but it is well worth a read!
Judges will be looking for evidence of:
Judges will be looking for evidence of:
Judges will be looking for evidence of:
Judges will be looking for evidence of: