The Happiness Course – Livability

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The Happiness Course

The Happiness Course was developed by Livability to support churches in having meaningful conversations about happiness and wellbeing.

The course explores important life questions and practical steps to take that enhance life outcomes, wellbeing and community connections.

Livability trains people to become leaders to adapt it to their context and run the course in their community.

Use these pages to find out more about the course and how you can get trained to run it in your setting. Make sure you use our Share Your Story pages to tell us all about it.
 

What is The Happiness Course?
What is The Happiness Course?

What is The Happiness Course?

What is The Happiness Course?

The Happiness Course was developed by Livability to support churches in having meaningful conversations about happiness and wellbeing.

The course explores important life questions and practical steps to take that enhance life outcomes, wellbeing and community connections.

Livability trains people to become leaders to adapt it to their context and run the course in their community.

Why bother with Happiness?

Isn’t happiness just a shallow, superficial thing? Just a feeling? Shouldn’t we concentrate on more important things?

Of course, happiness can be a passing feeling - but as this course explores, true, deep, long-lasting happiness is much more than that.

Deep happiness comes through exploring what’s really important in life through building strong, healthy relationships and through searching for deeper meaning and purpose.

To discover true happiness is to grapple with life’s most important questions.

What does the course cover?

The course starts by asking the simple question, ‘What makes you happy?’ It then examines four different kinds of happiness: pleasure, success, relationships and meaning.

Run over four sessions, the course will help you to talk about life experiences, examine what science tells us about happiness and wellbeing, and explore practical tools that you can use during the week.

The importance of wellbeing

Wellbeing is a concept that appears on government agendas and is a word we’ve become quite familiar with. We are seeing traditional indicators of happiness such as unemployment or school league tables only go so far when it comes to measuring how happy people feel about their lives. Depression is fast becoming one of the most significant medical issues of our times and loneliness is reaching epidemic proportions.

Who is the course for?

The great thing about happiness is that all of us, whatever our background or faith are on the same journey. We can all learn how to live more fulfilled lives.

Unlike some faith-based courses which can tend to polarise people into Christians and non, everyone who comes on The Happiness Course can hear something which can transform their lives. It’s designed to be accessible to everyone, particularly people with no faith background. Our Christian faith and worldview runs deeply through the course, it is never referred to explicitly.
History of the course
History of the course

History of the course

The first Happiness Course ran in 2008 and was developed by Andy Parnham, a church leader in south London who sought to engage with his local community in relevant and effective ways. Once he discovered the recent research on wellbeing, he was able to put together a course that would be both faithful to science and the Bible, yet also accessible to people. The course helps people to make progress in their lives.

From 2013, Livability’s Community Engagement Team trained church leaders and community workers to run the course locally for themselves. Since then we have trained over 300 people across the UK and run training events five or six times per year.

Read what people have said about the course

Contact us

For more details on our next course email happiness@livability.org.uk or check our events page: https://www.livability.org.uk/events/
How churches support happiness
How churches support happiness

How churches support happiness

How churches support happiness

Livability is a passionate advocate of the local church as a powerful agent for change. Churches play a vital role in tackling barriers in community life that fragment society and decrease people’s wellbeing.

How does the Happiness Course help to create connections?

The Happiness Course helps churches start conversations which connect to the concerns that people face every day.

The teaching is underpinned by a Biblical understanding of hope, peace and societal wholeness.

It provides a setting to start conversations with people about their own wellbeing that can lead to reflection on their lives and ultimately increase their happiness.

Not everyone starts the course with pressing spiritual questions but as sessions progress everyone is invited to explore the connection between happiness and finding meaning in life.

Friendships and new community connections developed through the course can lead to ongoing support and motivation to make changes.

Faith communities and wellbeing

Research suggests that many of the elements of a happy life are embedded within the life of a faith community. And the Christian faith teaches the importance of our relationships. The Happiness Course offers people practical ways to connect to others in their community; love their neighbour and journey alongside them.

In hosting the course, each group provides a safe space away from the bustle of daily life to review and make small practical changes that will add up to a big difference. The Happiness Course seeks to honour everyone’s experience and lead to long-term change.

Livability, Happiness and wider church community work

The Happiness Course works best when it’s well integrated into your church’s overall strategy and mission, this is something Livability is committed to helping you unpack.

Contact us

For more details on our next course email happiness@livability.org.uk or check our events page: https://www.livability.org.uk/events/
What's the cost and what's included?
What's the cost and what's included?

What's the cost and what's included?

The course is focused on helping people to understand the importance of positive and meaningful relationships and we want to model this ourselves. The course is deliberately not something bought “off the shelf” and is not available online, since our underlying approach is to engage directly with people face to face. We want to be part of your journey and support you in delivering the course and helping participants on their path.

How it works

We train people to lead the course and it is then possible for them to adapt it to their context and run it in their community. Anyone can train to be a Happiness Course leader. It involves learning the course material, recruiting people to come to your course, and facilitating the group sessions. You don’t need to be a church leader, but having the support of a church or community group can be a great help when getting started.

What’s included?

The training day will equip you to run Livability’s Happiness Course in your community. A typical training day will include:
  • Course content and structure
  • An understanding of ‘Shalom’, the Biblical idea of wellbeing
  • Exploring positive psychology and the scientific research about wellbeing
  • Practical help and tips on how to deliver the course in different contexts and communities
  • An opportunity to practice and develop training skills
Training is delivered by Livability’s Wellbeing advisor, coach and trainer Andy Parnham who developed The Happiness Course. Andy has a background in both medicine and church leadership.

Become a licensed leader

Everyone who delivers the course has to be trained and licensed by Livability. By attending the course you will get a license that gives you access to course materials including video content and ongoing support while you run the course. Licensing course leaders helps us to maintain consistency of teaching, provide ongoing support, and use feedback to update and improve the course. Knowing our leaders means that we can share stories and experience between leaders and show our funders that the course is working. Licenses cost £100 and last for two years when it can be renewed. Extra leaders from the same church or group can be licensed for an additional £50.

Contact us

For more details on our next course email happiness@livability.org.uk or check our events page: https://www.livability.org.uk/events/
Upcoming training events
Upcoming training events

Upcoming training events

The Happiness Course Leaders Training Day: London

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Thursday 15th November, 2018

Time: 09:30 am - 04:30 am

Location: Livability Head Office, 6 Mitre Passage, London, London, SE10 0ER

‘More Than Welcome’ training: Nottingham

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Thursday 22nd November, 2018

Time: 9.30 - 15.30

Location: St John's Parish Church, Canal Street, Long Eaton, NG10 4NL

Christmas Carols

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Tuesday 11th December, 2018

Time: 7pm (doors open at 6.15pm)

Location: St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4JL

The Happiness Course Leaders Training Day: London

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Tuesday 12th February, 2019

Time: 09:30 am - 04:30 pm

Location: Livability Head Office, 6 Mitre Passage,, London, England, SE10 0ER

More than Welcome disability training

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Wednesday 27th February, 2019

Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm

Location: The Trinity Centre, Holy Trinity Church The Market Place North Ormesby, Middlesbrough TS3 6LD

The Vitality Big Half 2019

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Sunday 10th March, 2019

Location: London

Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

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Sunday 28th April, 2019

Location: London – Greenwich Park to Horse Guards Parade

Prudential RideLondon- Surrey 100

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Sunday 4th August, 2019

Time: 5.45 am - 10.00 am

Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Simplyhealth
Great North Run 2019

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Sunday 8th September, 2019

Time: 9.00 - 17.00

Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne to South Shields

Ability Sunday 2019

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Sunday 8th September, 2019

Location: All around the country

What have people said about the course?
What have people said about the course?

What have people said about the course?

We’ve trained over 300 Happiness Course leaders and the stories they share with us after attending the training are often moving and inspiring. Here are some examples from course leaders:

The course has hugely impacted individuals who attended. Many people came with huge hurts and issues e.g. long term clinical depression, relationship breakdown, suicidal thoughts and low self-esteem. Over the four weeks the group really bonded and shared deeply. I had the privilege of seeing and hearing change take place through the course.

I have been amazed at the depth of sharing in the conversations afterwards.

We were delighted with how the course went. Forgiveness was a big one and two ladies shared that they were now working on this. As a result we have ladies that are really wanting to stay connected to us and some are offering to volunteer at some of the things we’re involved in. Thank you so much for this tool. We have so many people asking to be part of the next one – the interest is huge.

The group discussed their concepts of success, “It’s totally changed my idea of success. Before, I thought success was a business and a big house, but now I know success can be being a good mother and having a successful marriage.

Two members of the group who do not currently have an active Christian faith initiated conversations about faith and are now planning to visit a local church and possibly attend an Alpha course.

Contact us

For more details on our next course email happiness@livability.org.uk or check our events page: https://www.livability.org.uk/events/
Livability's work with churches
Livability's work with churches
Interested in running a Happiness Course?
Interested in running a Happiness Course?
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