When our founders, Nigel and Margaret Woodward, met with the activist Satish Kumar in 2012, a spark of inspiration was shared from which the Network of Wellbeing (NOW) was born.

Nigel and Margaret felt that the concept of wellbeing offered something valuable, an idea which could positively influence policies and lifestyles, helping to ensure we live more sustainably within our planet’s natural limits. Satish shared their vision and endorsed it by becoming a NOW Trustee.

In its early years, the Network of Wellbeing focused its activities in Totnes, where it is based. Projects included:

  • the Community Potluck – a monthly shared supper that provided a meeting space for families, including those on low incomes.
  • the Totnes Wellbeing Fund – grant-making to kick-start local wellbeing activities and projects.

In 2017, the Network of Wellbeing organised its first major national event, the Building Wellbeing Together weekend at Hawkwood College near Stroud. We also launched the Share Shed, one of the first libraries of things in the UK.

In 2018, we were fortunate to be gifted Eden Rise, our retreat centre in the Devon countryside. We also organised our first ShareFest in Totnes and our first online events.

In 2019, we secured nearly £50,000 to convert the Share Shed to a mobile service and hosted another Building Wellbeing Together weekend.

The pandemic was a big shock to the Network of Wellbeing, as it was to many other organisations. We were forced to scrap plans for further events and close the Share Shed and Eden Rise. However, we expanded our online offer and used lockdown to oversee the conversion of the Share Shed to a mobile service which launched, serving four towns, in Spring 2021.

In 2022, we secured funding to extend the Share Shed’s service to seven towns and celebrated our tenth annivesary with a series of online events.