National Happiness Awards 2018 - Judge's whats and whos

Happiness awards logo

From huge dogs and unsuspecting husbands to matching damson knickers - get to know the happiness awards judges a little bit better as they answer some 'probing' questions!


 

David Bowman – Crown House Publishing

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently? 

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and David Sedaris.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

There must have been many, but I can’t actually remember any!

What makes you truly happy?

Seeing family members, friends, colleagues and sports people/teams I support succeed.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

Human capital.

What would be your superpower and why?  

Seeing into the future. I’d love to know which books will sell before I publish them!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Study something you have a passion for at university, not something sensible that will get you a job.

What would fix the world?

If everyone could put themselves in other people’s shoes before making judgements about them or their behaviour.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Jim Lovell (commander of Apollo 13) – I followed the drama avidly as a boy and it’s now my favourite film, Bill Bryson – need I say more? David Cameron – lots of interesting questions for him, Tim Henman - the hill will always be his.

 


 

Karen Dempster – Fit2Communicate

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

Watching my huge dog (a Gordon Setter called Skye) try to sit on my unsuspecting husband’s lap.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

It’s generally when I say something totally innocent that comes out meaning something very different (and clearly funny to everyone else) – which I only realise after I have said it.

What makes you truly happy?

Spending time with my 11-year-old son and seeing him laugh. He’s the centre of my universe.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

I have a pet hate of jargon and acronyms. You might expect that as I am a communication specialist. The worst one is ‘leveraging synergies’ but there are lots more. I’m a big fan of clear and simple language.

What would be your superpower and why?

A photographic memory and speed reading (that’s two I know). I hate forgetting things and would love to be able to absorb more of the knowledge around me.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in your gut – it’s usually right.  And stop worrying about what other people think.

What would fix the world?

I’d have a world without ego – it’s not an attractive quality and manifests itself in ugly ways.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

David Walliams (for fun), David Attenborough (for education), Chris Hemsworth (for more fun), Anna Kendrick (for fun and great singing) and Miranda Hart (for such fun!)

 


 

Aaron Alburey – LACE

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

The company of friends.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

I once fell off a table, landed against a glass door and ripped my trousers from knee to ass!

What makes you truly happy?

The success of the people I mentor and my kids, of course.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard? Thought Shower still drives me

mad.

What would be your superpower and why?

Time travel so I could eliminate the dictators of the world before they came to power, oh and win the lottery!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Listen to your heart.

What would fix the world?

Universal wage would help.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Easy – Stephen Fry, Billy Connolly, Lance Armstrong, Baby Spice and David Bowie.

 


 

Gill White - CIPD

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

My lovely husband and his best friend doing comedy sketches on what’s app copying the fast show.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Spilling tea down a white blouse before a keynote speech, so I had to place my name card around my neck more like a bow tie to hide the stain!

What makes you truly happy?

Being in my garden late at night sitting quietly and the wild hedgehogs (whom I’ve been feeding for years) running about around me.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

Mind shower, feed forward, with the greatest of respect, endgame, think outside the box, ……….

What would be your superpower and why?

I would remove the ability to be prejudiced in any way and then I’d get all the fighting nations around a table and start them talking again.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You are Enough (put any word you like in front of it – good, fast, clever, kind)

What would fix the world?

Question 5 - + plus all companies using plastic being forced into only making recyclable stuff.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Lenard Cohen, Malcolm Gladwell, Cheryl Strayed, Brene Brown, Ben Zander, Dali Lama.

 


 

Kerry James – Burges Salmon

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

My husband’s answer to question 6 but that’s best not repeated.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Performing the paso doble with a banking lawyer in front of 700 colleagues. It was our Strictly Legal dance competition. The music was ‘I want to be in America’ from West Side Story. I wore a damson-coloured dress with a frilly lace skirt. Just as well my damson knickers matched. I shall say no more!

What makes you truly happy?

Family gathered in. Sunny day. Cliff path overlooking the sea after a long walk. Picnic with boiled eggs and someone remembering to bring the salt. 

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

A personal favourite is ‘I’m reaching out to you….’ I have at least 50 e-mails a week where people are reaching out to help me with training courses, recruitment, my career, the office party, a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Prague for free, my dog’s halitosis. You do not fool me! You are trying to sell me something! Consider yourself deleted.

What would be your superpower and why?

There was a TV programme years ago called ‘Bewitched’ where a good witch would wiggle her nose and things would get done around her (usually tidying up and things that mums ask their kids to do). I’m sitting here in our café thinking how interesting it would be to be able to wiggle my nose and move coffees and papers around the tables. What would people do? What would happen next? It’s not much of a superpower but there would be so much scope for fun and mischief!

What advice would you give your younger self?

You were NEVER fat.

What would fix the world?

Too many people have thought they knew the answer to that one with disastrous consequences. The latest is Donald Trump! He'll fix us all unless we fix him first. In the meantime, for mere mortals, I think it would help for people everywhere to listen, keep an open mind and be kind. 

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party

This would be a grand opportunity to meet family members from long ago - provided that they aren't smelly, scary and mouldy and they are prepared to eat avocado and curry (not necessarily together). Finding out who they were and how they lived is tricky when your ancestry is made up of Smith, Jones, James, Thomas, Lewis and Williams from the Vale of Neath.

 


  

Justin Robbins – Fit2communicate

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

There was a very funny moment during my recent family holiday in Italy, but you will have to buy me a drink to find out the details!

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Putting something in email that I shouldn’t have which ended up in the boss’s Inbox.

What makes you truly happy?

Relaxing and having fun with family and close friends.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

Anything related to colour - blue sky thinking or green field site are two.

What would be your superpower and why?

To time travel - I am fascinated by how technology is driving so much change in how we communicate so it would be nice to get an idea of what is around the corner as well as show my children that there really was life without mobile phones.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Take more risks and worry less what others think about you.

What would fix the world?

Rid the world of negativity as positive thinking makes such a difference and really does make for a happier day!

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Assuming there are no restrictions on past or present I would invite Robin Williams who was the master of impressions to entertain us all night, Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from Friends) who is hilarious and reminds me a lot of my daughter, Jack Black who is funny and also plays a mean rock track, JK Rowling who has the most incredible imagination in case things get boring, Sir Bradley Wiggins who is a cycling legend with a very dry sense of humour to keep us amazed and amused and Amanda Byram (Total Wipeout co-host) for when we’re drunk and the games get silly!

 


 

Rob Woodhead – Simply Better Events

 

What's made you laugh a lot recently?

My Mum’s warped sense of humour. I think she’s the only person I know who will call her 9-year-old grandson into the kitchen and then jump out on him in a clown mask. It’s a good job he can take a joke too, although we did have to peel him down from the ceiling.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?

Probably the day after I ate too much coconut. Coconut is a laxative. I was sat in my office all day. ‘Nuff said.

What makes you truly happy?

Going completely back to basics and stripping the material things out of my life for a while, whilst spending time with those closest to me. I spent 20 minutes laying in a hammock with my 7-year-old daughter yesterday just hugging and watching the rest of the world go about its business, which was truly beautiful.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?

A facilitator at one of our events saying to a member of the audience “That’s a great idea, let’s put it in the fridge and snack on it later”. I think I did a little bit of vom in my mouth.

What would be your superpower and why?

Mind control. So I could make my kids actually do what I ask them to do.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your gut feel. Especially if it’s telling you that you need a poo.

What would fix the world?

If everyone in the world went out of their way to do their own little bit of good every day.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?

Just my family and friends from past and present. I don’t have the desire to be surrounded by pretentious celebs!

It’s time to announce the finalists of the National Happiness Awards 2018 (cue drumroll).

It’s time to announce the finalists of the National Happiness Awards 2018 (cue drumroll).

It’s been another bumper year with almost 200 entries from some of the happiest people and places in the UK.

After hours of deliberation, gallons of burnt midnight oil, mouthfuls of nail-biting suspense and some very tough decisions, our independent judging panel have done their duty and are now having a lie down in a darkened room.

Read more


BUPA UK 'place-to-be-happy' nominated for a 2018 Happiest Workplace award

BUPA UK 'place-to-be-happy' nominated for a 2018 Happiest Workplace award

Over the last 12 months, the team at BUPA UK have been on a 'journey to a happier place'. That place has become known as 'BUPA Place' a new state-of-the-art building, in Salford Quays, Manchester.

Read more


'Champions of positivity and ok-ness' NHS Leadership Development Team nominated for Happiest Team award

'Champions of positivity and ok-ness' NHS Leadership Development Team nominated for Happiest Team award

The Wolverhampton-based NHS Leadership Development Team 'educate, develop and support other teams and individuals to maintain their happiness at work', according to Catherine Lisseman, who nominated the team for a National Happiness Award 2018. We are 'champions of positivity and ok-ness', she added in her nomination.

Read more


Ross-on-Wye dance studio, Mizz Twisted Cherry, and owner Natalie Morgan-Dew, nominated for a National Happiness Award 2018

Ross-on-Wye dance studio, Mizz Twisted Cherry, and owner Natalie Morgan-Dew, nominated for a National Happiness Award 2018

Mizz Twisted Cherry Studios, an aerial and alternative dance studio, in Ross-on-Wye, and Natalie Morgan-Dew, its owner, are nominated in both the Happiest Workplace, and Happiest Workplace Person categories of the National Happiness Awards 2018.

Read more


Paul Kirkbright, Deputy Provost at University Centre Shrewsbury, nominates Kelly Gardener for a Happiest Person award

Paul Kirkbright, Deputy Provost at University Centre Shrewsbury, nominates Kelly Gardener for a Happiest Person award

University Centre Shrewsbury is a distinctive institution, focused on high-quality teaching and research, fostering entrepreneurship, contributing to the community and, ultimately, making a global impact.

Read more


North West Charity, Breaking Barriers, nominated for a Happiest Team award

North West Charity, Breaking Barriers, nominated for a Happiest Team award

Breaking Barriers NW (BBNW) is a charity which was set up to raise awareness and challenge the barriers to the inclusion of disabled children & young people across the North West.

Read more


Telefonica O2 UK: Territory Trainer Team nominated for a Happiest Team award

Telefonica O2 UK: Territory Trainer Team nominated for a Happiest Team award

The O2 UK Territory Trainer Team's mission, who have been nominated by Jonny Cain, in the Happiest Team category of the National Happiness Awards 2018, is a training team within O2 who get people to 'think differently' with 'fun and engaging' training and creating a learning environment which delivers results.

Read more


Bolton consultancy, Boo Coaching & Consulting, nominated for a National Happiness Award 2018

Bolton consultancy, Boo Coaching & Consulting, nominated for a National Happiness Award 2018

Boo Coaching & Consulting, based in a magnificent 19th-century, grade II listed Bolton church called All Souls, is rooted in its community.

Read more


2017 Happiest School winners back in 2018 for a second chance of happiness

2017 Happiest School winners back in 2018 for a second chance of happiness

Despite winning Happiest School in the 2017 National Happiness Awards, it appears there is still space in Fourfields Community Primary School's bulging trophy cabinet - and it looks Happiest School Person 2018 shaped.

Read more


The Camberley All Night Cafe nominated for a Happiest Team award

The Camberley All Night Cafe nominated for a Happiest Team award

The Camberley All Night Cafe provides food and shelter in a safe environment to veterans and the homeless. It is completely self-funded and relies on goodwill, enterprise, community fundraising and donations of food.

Read more


Kingfisher Special School, Oldham: 'the most uplifting, beautiful kids you will ever meet!'

Kingfisher Special School, Oldham: 'the most uplifting, beautiful kids you will ever meet!'

Kingfisher Special School has the most uplifting, beautiful kids you will ever meet - and it rocks!, according to Nicola Found, Director of Creative Learning at the school, a designated primary special school for children with complex and severe learning needs in Oldham.

Read more


6-year-old Toby Gilmore from St Wilfrids C of E Primary School nominated for a Happiest Pupil award - by his mum

6-year-old Toby Gilmore from St Wilfrids C of E Primary School nominated for a Happiest Pupil award - by his mum

School life makes Toby one very happy little boy, according to his mum, Amy Gilmour.

Read more


National Happiness Awards 2018 - More Judge's whats and whos

National Happiness Awards 2018 - More Judge's whats and whos

From stripping down to underwear in a school office to investment bank farts - get to know the happiness awards judges a little bit better as they answer some 'probing' questions!

Read more


Does the happiest pupil in the UK go to your school?

Does the happiest pupil in the UK go to your school?

Since the beginning of the National Happiness Awards, one of our favourite categories has always been Happiest Pupil, won in 2017 by Callum Carr from St Matthews Primary School in Luton.

Read more


Squirty cream, scone eating demonstrations get very messy for Loretta Gray at Crestwood Community School

Squirty cream, scone eating demonstrations get very messy for Loretta Gray at Crestwood Community School

Is it the scone eating demonstrations or the effervescent personality that has earned Loretta Gray, Marketing and Social Media Manager at Crestwood Community School, Eastleigh, two nominations for the Happiest School Person 2018 award? We at Laughology Towers are not sure, but frankly we don't care because we love both of them.

Read more


Wolviston Primary School, in Billingham, nominated for the happiest school in the UK award.

Wolviston Primary School, in Billingham, nominated for the happiest school in the UK award.

What has the drummer from the band Smokie, a professional golfer, an ex-Premier League footballer, a singer in a local band and Pauline the Postmistress got in common? They have all tasted the delights of school dinners at the top table in Wolviston Primary School.

Read more


Oldham Deputy Headteacher, Steve Hill, nominated for this year's Happiest School Person award

Oldham Deputy Headteacher, Steve Hill, nominated for this year's Happiest School Person award

'Mr Smiley', otherwise known as Steve Hill, Deputy Headteacher of St Joseph's RC School, in Shaw, Oldham, has smiled his way to a happiness award nomination.

Read more


Claire Leigh, Director at Brampton Recruitment, thinks her team is the best in the world.

Claire Leigh, Director at Brampton Recruitment, thinks her team is the best in the world.

Like a premiership winning side they continue to perform at the top of their game after a period of transition and expansion, along with a move to new premises. They have bonded quickly', and go out of their way for each other.

Read more


Nominate your business or organisation for a National Happiness Award 2018

Nominate your business or organisation for a National Happiness Award 2018

The National Happiness Awards 2018 are open for business and it’s time to recognise your business or organisation or make an individual happy by making a nomination.

Read more


Nominate your school for a National Happiness Award 2018

Nominate your school for a National Happiness Award 2018

The National Happiness Awards 2018 nominations for education are open, and it’s time to recognise your school or make a student happy by submitting a nomination.

Read more


Meet Debs Gallagher, the happiness superhero who won the coveted title of Happiest Workplace Person in 2017

Meet Debs Gallagher, the happiness superhero who won the coveted title of Happiest Workplace Person in 2017

Meet Debs Gallagher, the happiness superhero who won the coveted title of Happiest Workplace Person in 2017. Debs,  is a manager at Virgin Active gym in Nottingham and her staff and customers love her.

Read more


National Happiness Awards 2018 - Judge's whats and whos

National Happiness Awards 2018 - Judge's whats and whos

From huge dogs and unsuspecting husbands to matching damson knickers - get to know the happiness awards judges a little bit better as they answer some 'probing' questions!

Read more


Theodora Children's Charity Giggle Doctors nominated for a National Happiness Award 2018

Theodora Children's Charity Giggle Doctors nominated for a National Happiness Award 2018

999: What's your emergency? I've just busted my gut laughing, thanks to the Giggle Doctors. This crack team of laughter medicine experts are the latest nominees for the National Happiness Awards.

Read more


Could Loretta Gray be the happiest school person in the UK?

Could Loretta Gray be the happiest school person in the UK?

'Loretta is a light in everyone’s day...she has brought so much joy to our wider school community', according to David Tully, her colleague and an English Teacher at Crestwood Community School, who has nominated Loretta Gray in the Happiest School Person category of the National Happiness Awards 2018.

Read more


Simply Better Events - silver business sponsor for the National Happiness Awards 2018.

Simply Better Events - silver business sponsor for the National Happiness Awards 2018.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent to us at the National Happiness Awards that the oeuvre of eighties comic Russ Abbot is a mixed bag. His Spanish crooner character, Julio Doubleglazias, was frankly, a lazy stereotype. And his ginger-wigged C.U. Jimmy character set English and Scottish relations back several decades. On one thing however, we can agree. Just like Russ, we love a party with a happy atmosphere. In fact, when you are organising the boldest and brightest award ceremony in the country, a happy atmosphere is not just a pre-requisite, it is essential.

Read more


Crown House Publishing back the National Happiness Awards for a third year

Crown House Publishing back the National Happiness Awards for a third year

Here at the National Happiness Awards we like clumsy, overblown metaphors. Which is why we like to describe our long-standing relationship with Crown House Publishing as a deeply spiritual bond. In fact, if the story of the Awards were written in biblical terms, Crown House Publishing would be there with us at the beginning, in the Garden of Eden. An Adam to our Eve.

Read more


Happiest team 2018 nomination for Octopus Energy

Happiest team 2018 nomination for Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy is a renewable energy company, based in London, which offers100% renewable electricity and full carbon offsets for gas. This means that from an energy point of view homes can be carbon neutral – and that means a happy planet. And what better to compliment a happy planet than a happy team?

Read more


Midlands Air Ambulance nominated for the happiest workplace in the UK award

Midlands Air Ambulance nominated for the happiest workplace in the UK award

Midlands Air Ambulance is the charity responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances serving the communities of six Midlands counties.

Read more


Fit2Communicate are Gold Education Sponsor for the National Happiness Awards 2018

Fit2Communicate are Gold Education Sponsor for the National Happiness Awards 2018

Here at the National Happiness Awards, we never miss the opportunity to shoehorn in a clumsy 1980s cultural reference. So, to slightly paraphrase Spandau Ballet, we’d like to introduce Fit2Communicate, who also believe in our goals, and whose dedication to positive communication in education is indestructible. In fact, they are gold.

Read more


Milton Hall Primary School and Nursery - an extremely happy learning community

Milton Hall Primary School and Nursery - an extremely happy learning community

Milton Hall Primary School and Nursery have been nominated in the Happiest School category of the National Happiness Awards 2018.

Read more



Rewarding your high-achieving and valued members of staff with drugs would be wrong, dangerous, irresponsible and highly inappropriate

Rewarding your high-achieving and valued members of staff with drugs would be wrong, dangerous, irresponsible and highly inappropriate

Rewarding your high-achieving and valued members of staff with drugs would be wrong, dangerous, irresponsible and highly inappropriate (unless you happen to be the boss of a drugs cartel).*

Read more


The Landing is our venue sponsor for this year and will host the National Happiness Awards 2018

The Landing is our venue sponsor for this year and will host the National Happiness Awards 2018

In the 1989 Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams, the main character, farmer Ray Kinsella, builds a baseball pitch for ghosts because a voice in his head tells him: ‘if you built it, he will come’. Underneath the Hollywood schmaltz, the movie had a message. If you follow your dreams and create the right environment, amazing things can happen.

Read more


Kelly Moore, from Regents Park Community College, receives nomination for Happiest School Person 2018

Kelly Moore, from Regents Park Community College, receives nomination for Happiest School Person 2018

We have had some great Nominations for the National Happiness Awards 2018 during the last few days. This nomination for the schools and education category of the awards comes from Vanessa Loubier, a Modern Foreign Language Teacher at Regents Park Community College in Southampton.

Read more


Burges Salmon: 'Winning last year's National Happiness Award has given us a springboard to build on and develop a more cohesive wellbeing strategy'

Burges Salmon: 'Winning last year's National Happiness Award has given us a springboard to build on and develop a more cohesive wellbeing strategy'

We know what it’s like. It’s been a long hot summer already. You’re looking forward to the holidays and there’s that issue with Dave in accounts that you need to deal with. In the middle of it all, here we are, cropping up in your inbox to announce the 2018 National Happiness Awards. Hooray!

Read more


Wyboston Lakes  Happiest Workforce nomination

Wyboston Lakes Happiest Workforce nomination

Wyboston Lakes has been nominated for a Happiest Workforce nomination. Ellie, an employee at Wybston Lakes, who submitted the nomination, said:

Read more


Is Stopsley Community Primary School, the happiest in the UK?

Is Stopsley Community Primary School, the happiest in the UK?

According to Fionna Byre, Deputy Headteacher, it is, and that's why she has nominated them for the Happiest School in the National Happiness Awards 2108.

Read more


Introducing LACE Partners, gold sponsor of the National Happiness Awards

Introducing LACE Partners, gold sponsor of the National Happiness Awards

Here at the National Happiness Awards, we believe in the proverb that you can judge a person by the company they keep. Which is why we love to work with people who share our values and support our mission to celebrate the people and places making the world better through happiness.

Read more


Nominations are now open for the National Happiness Awards 2018

Nominations are now open for the National Happiness Awards 2018

We are delighted to announce that the 2018 National Happiness Awards will be held on November 16th and that nominations are now open.

Read more


Why you should nominate your school for a National Happiness Award 2018

Why you should nominate your school for a National Happiness Award 2018

We know what it’s like. It’s been a long, hot summer. You’re looking forward to the end of term and the holidays, and here we are, cropping up in your inbox to announce the 2018 National Happiness Awards. Hooray!

Read more


Happiest Team nomination - HCT Podiatry Admin Team, St Albans

Happiest Team nomination - HCT Podiatry Admin Team, St Albans

The nominations for the National Happiness Awards 2018 have only been open a few days, and already entries have started to roll in. One of our favourites so far is from Lindsey Kelly who nominated the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust Podiatry Admin team in St Albans for the Happiest Team award.

Read more


SIGN UP FOR REAL FAKE NEWS!

WE PROMISE TO ONLY SHARE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITH THE RUSSIANS AND DONALD TRUMP
Sign up to our regular Laughology bulletin

Laughology
Suite 869, Kemp House,
152 - 160 City Road,
London EC1V 2NX

T: 0844 800 1701
E: Laughology
F: 0208 337 9262