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Nina Jackson, happiness award judge, explains what she’ll be looking for in this year's nominations

Nina jackson happiness awards judge

Here at the National Happiness Awards, we pride ourselves on setting the standard for happiness best-practice in the UK. Which is why all our winners are scrutinised to make sure they truly deserve the accolades they win. Not only do winners need to be happy, they also need to demonstrate that the measures they are taking to spread happiness are sustainable and innovative. Our judges are eagle-eyed happiness experts who know what makes a winner. Here’s Nina Jackson to explain what she’ll be looking for in this year's National Happiness Awards.

Nina is an international education consultant, author and award-winning speaker. She is a leading practitioner in outstanding mental health, wellbeing, learning and teaching. She is an expert at working with SEND and engaging disaffected learners. Her training courses leave educationalists wanting more - she is in high demand with teachers, students and educationalists alike. She is an associate director with Independent Thinking Ltd (ITL).

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. She has had an overwhelming impact on education, both in the UK and internationally. She has worked with the Ministry of Education, UNESCO and UNICEF. 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 extraordinary 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. 

Nina Q&A

What's made you laugh a lot recently? 

Reading a fantastic story created by primary school children about a giraffe. They called him Dave - Dave Maggoo a giraffe in a zoo. The children came up with some hilarious reasons why he needed to be rescued from his cage. The brilliance of children’s imaginations just got me roaring. Just the name Dave Maggoo…I was in stitches.

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

When I got locked in a cupboard for hours when the door jammed on me. I was there until the caretaker came to lock the door of the classroom. I had even built myself a temporary bed from books as I thought I would be in there all night.

What makes you truly happy?

A Knickerbockerglory ice cream sundae with a flake and sparkler on top.

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

‘Open the Kimono’, meaning think about sharing your information a bit more.

What would be your superpower and why? 

I have a superpower. I give welsh cwtches (like a hug, but more) to people who I spot that I think need them. When I give them a cwtch they hold on tight and then start smiling. I’ve seen some then pass it on to others.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop eating sweets and sugar. Maybe I wouldn’t have had such bumpy thighs then.

What would fix the world? 

People being kinder to each other.

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

Peter Kay





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