Is happiness only a GREAT DREAM away?

Fiona Phillips
22 January, 2016 : 15:26
0     2

Faced with a changing and complex world that presents many challenges, it's important to invest in our wellbeing. 

We are all aware that, faced with a changing and complex world that presents many challenges, it’s important to invest in our wellbeing - to be healthy both physically and mentally. As Department of Health reported in 2013:

“An individual’s health is a key aspect of their wellbeing”.

Therefore, hearing the results of research on our children’s wellbeing is a concern. In 2015, The Children’s Society reported that children in England ranked 14th out of 15 countries for life satisfaction and 11th for recent feelings of happiness and feeling positive about the future.

Knowing what contributes to better wellbeing helps us to apply it to our own lives and support others. It’s interesting to learn that many teachers report feeling helpless when dealing with the growing demand for mental health support in schools.

Actions for Happiness

So how can we ensure, as parents and teachers, that we can support our children to grow up healthy and fulfilled? I recently attended a great seminar led by Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness, on the subject of well being and what contributes to it.

Dr Williamson suggested ten goals to happiness which can be pursued - summed up in the acronym, GREAT DREAM.

I reflected that volunteering in school including as part of a PTA ticks many of these boxes including “Giving” and also “Resilience” springs to mind!

Dr Williamson also suggested keeping a gratitude journal, in which is noted those things in our life which we are thankful for.

Finally we were sent away with a great thought – “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”.

There is more on


Should education include wellbeing?

The Welsh Government launched its new curriculum in October 2015. Focussed on ensuring the future success of every child and young person, one of its key purposes is to ensure children develop as healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives. Consequently, the curriculum includes a new health and wellbeing learning area. It will be interesting to see whether this also emerges as a need from the Westminster Education Select Committee inquiry into the purpose of education.

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Fiona Phillips
Parentkind Trustee. Fiona is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor. She has spent her career advising on UK and Overseas taxation in accountancy practice, national government and large companies, and currently deals with these issues for a range of small and medium sized businesses. Fiona believes in the value of parental involvement in a child's education, being active in the North Yorkshire village primary school which her sons attended. For the school's PTA she set up and administered a fundraising charity, and is chair of the Governing Body. She also introduced an extended schools programme to the school. Fiona chairs the Finance, Insurance and Risk Committee. Fiona joined the Board in 2009.

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