Oxford Univeristy Resilience for teens project (MYRIAD) recruiting schools

The MYRIAD  my resilience in adolescence project is recruiting schools to take part in a image002 (1)national secondary-school based project led by the University of Oxford.

The project is investigating how schools prepare young people to manage their emotional health and improve their resilience during adolescence. Funded by the Wellcome Trust it is one of the largest projects to explore this area to date.

The research focuses on pupils aged 11-14. It will help researchers gain valuable insight into this critical period in pupil’s lives and look at how the school curriculum could best develop young people’s resilience.

→letter for teachers

If you are interested in taking part please contact the project by the 1st July

→To register an interest in participating click here

Email: myriad@psych.ox.ac.uk  Tel: 01865 613 164


Review: the VCSE’s role in improving wellbeing

In November 2014, the Department of Health, Public Health England, and NHS England initiated a review of the role of the VCSE sector in improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes.

Here’s  Alex Fox,  CEO of Shared Lives Plus and independent Chair of the Joint VCSE Review  on the findings:

alex fox 2015 3megWellbeing is a goal often seen as elusive, particularly by large swathes of the NHS which are still exclusively illness-focused. But achieving wellbeing is increasingly accepted as the goal which all health and care services will need to share if they are going to prevent and manage the impacts of long term conditions. Social care has enshrined wellbeing as its primary purpose in the Care Act and if we are serious about integration around the person, there is an argument for the NHS doing the same.

The final report of the Joint Review of the VCSE sector takes wellbeing as the goal upon which everyone involved in health and care can agree. From that starting point, the report sets out the unarguable case made by charities, social enterprises and community groups that it is their work which is the key to creating and maintaining wellbeing, particularly for people which statutory services continue to overlook or consider ‘hard to reach’. Wellbeing requires health and care systems which are organised around and support our lives not just our needs or problems: which can reach us in our homes, support our families to care, and release the full potential of communities.

There are at least two distinct kinds of role that charities, social enterprises and community groups play in delivering a new kind of health and care service. Firstly, those organisations can reach every section of the community with support that is more tailored, more holistic and which draws upon volunteers to achieve more than paid staff alone can achieve. VCSE organisations can respond effectively to complex health needs but they can also think long term and address the social determinants (poverty, housing, exclusion) of health and deep-rooted health inequalities. VCSE support providers add ‘social value’ into a system desperately searching for more bang for its buck and our report recommended that the existing Social Value Act be much more widely used to embed approaches like social prescribing, personal budgets and peer support.

Secondly, for many of the VCSE organisations and local commissioners who responded to our consultation, just as important as how much funding VCSE organisations could win through competing to provide services, was the extent to which VCSE organisations were involved in planning those services: co-designing the local health and care goals and playing a full part in developing responses to local needs and building on local assets and community resources.

Traditionally, the health and care system has been designed largely by the state, with civil society invited in from time to time for consultation and all but a few citizens struggling to have their voices heard. The statutory system by itself struggles to think beyond the medical model. A system designed with the voices of a wide range of people, facilitated by local community groups and VCSE infrastructure organisations, will naturally tend more towards the goal of good lives in good places.

A wellbeing-focused health and care system would draw fully upon people’s capacity to self-care and the hugely under-valued role of family carers. It would be one in which people are supported to remain included and active members of their communities. A few areas are showing that even during austerity, VCSE organisations can be supported – and challenged – to do this. The VCSE sector needs to use its share of the health and care system’s limited resources, but they also bring resources of their own and they are willing and able to share in the risks and responsibilities of creating a health and care system which supports us all to live well, with the people we live, in places we are happy to call home.

VCSE Review report

discuss on our forum

Alex Fox FRSA is CEO of Shared Lives Plus, the UK network for Shared Lives and Homeshare. He Chairs the NHS England, Dept. Health and Public Health England review of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector and sits on the boards of NHSE’s Integrated Personal Commissioning programme and the Think Local, Act Personal partnership, with a community development lead for both partnerships. He is an Honorary Assistant Professor at Nottingham University, and a trustee of the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the Local Area Coordination Network. Alex was named one of Britain’s New Radicals in 2012. He blogs at http://alexfoxblog.wordpress.com/ and @AlexSharedLives

Call for evidence: Learning and Wellbeing

We are conducting a review of how learning in the work Work &Learningenvironment influences wellbeing in terms of both learning processes and learning outcomes. While there is a significant body of research that looks at learning interventions in work, or for work, there is little understanding of their relationship to well-being.

Our main research question is as follows;

Within the context of work, to what extent are wellbeing outcomes influenced by learning outcomes and the characteristics of the learning process?

We are looking for high quality evidence that addresses this question to use as best practice examples.

We are particularly seeking evidence that meets the following criteria:

  1. Evaluation studies with assessments of wellbeing taken before and after the learning process – this is to allow us to determine whether the learning process produced any changes in wellbeing subsequent to its introduction.
  2. Evidence that includes comparison groups that did not participate in the course of learning are particularly welcome.
  3. Studies which look at how wellbeing is impacted by either the learning process or outcome and those which look at both.
  4. Evaluations of learning which does or does not have an explicit wellbeing aim.
  5. Evidence of impacts on wellbeing may include stress, mental health, anxiety, depression, life or job satisfaction, resilience or self-efficacy.
  6. Qualitative and quantitative evidence is welcome.

All examples must be written in English or have an English translation and include an author and date. We can only accept evidence which can be made publicly available.

Please send your submissions to evidence@whatworkswellbeing.org

All submissions should be received by 8th of July 2016 .

Social action and its potential to transform health and wellbeing

Mark Swift, founder and CEO of Wellbeing Enterprises CIC on the potential to change health and wellbeing services through social action. We also have a new case study drawing from Mark’s experiences → Unleash your inner social entrepreneur case study

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAjPAAAAJDljOTVhMTk4LTc3NDQtNGY1MC1hYTViLWJkZmEwYjY5MzY1ZgThe publication of the NHS Five Year Forward view and its focus on prevention and wellbeing has generated debate about the ways in which health commissioners may go about engaging and involving citizens as agents of change to bring about health improvements.

These approaches are being described under the banner of ‘social action’ and are essentially about mobilising ‘people power’ and the latent potential of the community to bring about positive outcomes. These approaches include traditional volunteering and activism alongside relatively new concepts like social entrepreneurship.

What they all share in common is a focus on the individual and the community as the driver of change; they’re about redistributing power and control to everyday people to affect the change they want to see. It’s about mobilising an entrepreneurial mind-set to tackle the issues that are impacting on people’s quality of life and mobilising assets in the community to bring this about.

This growing interest in ‘bottom up’ community led approaches has been facilitated in part by organisations like UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs who provide awards to help kick-start people’s ideas. However there has also been a sizable shift in policy thinking too; one which has seen policy makers consider the ways in which the pulleys and levers of the state can be used to bring about social change.

The publication of the Social Value Act in 2012 is a good example of this as it places a legal duty on statutory bodies to give due consideration to the social, economic, and environmental impact of their procurement decisions. It’s not enough to deliver a quality service one should also think about what else can be done to maximise this investment and generate a better deal for the community.

I put it to you that efforts to resource everyday people to take action alongside a shift in policy thinking to nurture these approaches have the potential to positively disrupt the health and social care landscape and deliver the health and wellbeing outcomes that many of us strive to achieve.

I also believe that we all have the potential to tap into our inner entrepreneur and bring about extraordinary changes and by doing so we have the potential to become extraordinary people.

Unleash your Social Entrepreneur pioneer case study



Public dialogue toolkit

Want to run a public dialogue yourself?

We have produced a toolkit to help you scope and deliver a wellbeing public dialogue process.

The toolkit addresses the following questions: What is a public dialogue? What does it involve? What is unique about a wellbeing dialogue? When to use public dialogues and why? How to run them and who you can get to run them for you.

We really enjoyed running our Public Dialogues. They have been well-received and we hope the insights on what wellbeing means to people from all over the UK are proving useful.

Its really important to engage, and what workscontinue to engage people in conversation about what matters to them, especially in the area of wellbeing. So we are continuing this conversation….

→join in through facebook  or our forum.

→Our Public Dialogues were independently evaluated: report