Wellbeing Workshops via the Network of Wellbeing and Friends of the Earth

What are the important things that would need to happen to improve wellbeing in your community, now and in the future? Here at NOW, in partnership with Friends of the Earth, we are inviting people to engage with this question in participatory wellbeing workshops. 

The aim is to run a number of workshops around the UK, bringing a range of local people together in different areas to agree what needs to happen to improve their wellbeing in their community, and then to act to achieve it – be it protecting green space, or finding ways to provide more ways for communities to connect with each other.

More broadly, NOW’s work in partnership with Friends of the Earth seeks to engage people in some of the larger questions influencing our society today, including:

  • What does progress mean, and are we heading in the right direction?
  • What is our economy for, and who should it be shaped to serve?
  • What are the connections between the environment and our wellbeing?

Find out more about this project via the resources and video interviews below. 


These are resouces the NOW team has worked on together with the Economics and Resource Use team at Friends of the Earth. All resources below are pdf links.  

  • Introduction to Wellbeing Workshops: This is a brief two-page introduction for those interested in the wellbeing workshops. 
  • Action Guide: This guide is a toolkit for people interested in running wellbeing workshops. It gives practical guidance on how to run the workshop and what to do with the outcomes. It also provides useful context and further references to build your understanding of wellbeing itself. Please note: This guide is currently in draft format, but it's still a very useful resource for anyone interested in running wellbeing workshops. We will be updating this draft in early 2016. 
  • Achieving successful wellbeing workshop outcomes: This accessible flow-chart outlines the steps it is possible for workshop participants to follow once wellbeing themes have been identified and prioritised in the workshop. 
  • Wellbeing Organisations List: This list aims to give you some sense of the wide range of wellbeing work already happening across different sectors, at different scales and in different locations. There really is a wealth of wellbeing work out there, and this list just provides an initial overview; we continually come across new initiatives working on wellbeing. If you would like to help us to build up this list by suggesting additions then please email florence@networkofwellbeing.org.

Video interviews

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s CEO (previously Director of Policy and Campaigns)

”It is hard to imagine that there is anything more important for humanity to be thinking about than wellbeing”, Craig Bennett says. Craig argues that we need to review our ideals of progress to move beyond a narrow focus on economic growth shown through Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and start looking at what really makes our lives worthwhile. You can read more on Craig’s views in his blog post why we need to refocus our economy on wellbeing.


Richard Dyer, Campaigner on Friends of the Earth’s Economics and Resource Use Programme

“Fundamentally we are asking the question: what are the important ingredients for a better future for you in your local community?” Richard explains plans for the participative wellbeing workshops project in more detail. Richard argues wellbeing is an important area for wider participation, and isn’t just for middle class hippies.


Dave Powell, Senior Campaigner on Friends of the Earth’s Economics and Resource Use Programme

“Everyone wants to see economics done differently; they want to see governments run our economy as if people and the planet actually mattered, as if wellbeing were important, as if environmental sustainability were important”, argues Dave. “Pursuit of economic growth as an end in itself is the wrong priority… we’re interested in starting a conversation with politicians and the public about what better priorities should be… we think it’s about something big and exciting and visionary, about a positive future for a world we want to live on”, Dave says, as he describes Friends of the Earth’s wider policy engagement with wellbeing.

Learn more

To learn more, you can visit the wellbeing page on Friends of the Earth’s website, and watch out on our blog for further news as our work in partnership develops. And if you have any questions please get in touch.