Why enter the National Happiness Awards and what happened next…
For the National Happiness Awards team, the end of awards season can be a sombre time. The show packs up, the lights dim, the banners come down and StephW, our Chief Happiness Coordinator, finally realises there are no more half-empty bottles of plonk left on the tables to swipe.
Usually we go our separate ways and lie down in dark rooms for a couple of weeks, shaking gently and mumbling incoherently. Some might call it a nervous breakdown, some might call it detox, we call it a time of reflection.
The story is different for the winners, however. As the music fades they stride off jubilantly into the night, holding aloft their glittering Perspex prizes, drunk on triumph and the cheap plonk StephW missed.
In the weeks and months after a National Happiness Awards win, the afterglow of victory continues and winners spread good practice and happiness throughout and beyond their organisations, like a happiness inkblot.
Here are some of happiness awards winners’ stories.
Bupa Place, Happiest Workplace, 2018
Bupa opened its new £65m Salford offices in September 2018 with a pledge to make it a fully inclusive environment where everyone is welcome.
After the awards the company continued its mental health first aiders programme and continues to create healthy habits, an inclusive culture and a workplace for good physical health and happy minds.
Environmental awareness and individual wellbeing are priorities within the company and everyone who works there has a voice.
MD Wayne Close said: “Over the last year we’ve engaged everyone on a journey to a happier place. Our state-of-the-art offices are at the centre of this programme and from the get-go this project was led by our people. Everything from the name of our building, the design and layout, what facilities and services are on offer, trialling the equipment supplied, how we develop fresh ways of working, even the coffee we serve has been decided with input from our people and what would make them most happy.”
Most recently the company has continued to spread happiness in the community and in March this year announced a partnership deal with local rugby team, the Salford Red Devils.
Why you should enter, according to BUPA Place:
“It’s an opportunity to open up your company and show people what you can do. It lets you reach out to other people, have an impact on communities and share your learnings and values.”
Previous winners also said:
Burges Salmon, Happiest Workplace 2017
"It's important to nominate to recognise the great work that organisations do. Burges Salmon works really hard to look after its people and make it a great place to work."
What you could win if you become the Happiest Workplace:
£3000 of Laughology training
Flakefleet Primary School, Happiest Primary School, 2018
Flakefleet Primary School impressed the judges at last year’s awards with its culture of caring positivity. Children are encouraged to think big and follow their dreams, despite the challenges the school faces from being in a deprived area. The school community is knitted together with a network of caring support and headteacher Dave McPartlin is an inspirational tour de force.
The school has used creativity and innovation to build a sense of fun and community. It is famed for its wacky social media videos which put the local community at the heart of the school and the school at the heart of the local community.
Following the National Happiness Award win, Flakefleet continued to develop some eye-catching projects, all based around the idea of self-actualisation; that children can achieve anything if they put their minds to it. In December 2018 the school made an audacious and headline-grabbing bid to be the Christmas number one. Calling in favours from the local community, pupils wrote and recorded a song, and filmed a video. They launched a social media campaign to boost downloads of the song and a group of pupils even door-stepped the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2. Chris was so impressed he invited them into the studio and plugged the song on his show.
Then, in 2019, the school became a finalist on the UK’s biggest talent show, Britain’s Got Talent. Pupils, guided by Dave, performed joyous, raucous dance routines which bought judge David Walliams to tears and won them the comedian’s golden buzzer.
Dave will also be a judge at this year’s National Happiness Awards.
Why should you enter, according to Flakefleet Primary School:
“It’s created a real buzz throughout the school. It’s the best thing ever. I would recommend it to everyone. Put the effort in and go for it.”
Previous winners also said:
Silverdale Primary Academy, Happiest School, 2016
"This accolade is tremendous and validates the work we do based on positivity and happiness. It is embedded in what we do with our children and our staff. We couldn’t ask for a better team of staff and children at the Academy and that’s what it’s all about for us."
What you could win if you become the Happiest Primary School:
£1000 of Laughology training, plus £1000 voucher of your choice.