Hundreds of people have participated in The Happiness Course since it began last year. The course has fast grown in popularity with many courses taking place across the country including Liverpool, Dorset, Rotherham and London.
The Happiness course was developed by Livability’s community engagement team which works with some of the poorest and most disadvantaged groups across England. The course was devised as a means for churches and other organisations to respond to and understand the rising levels of hopelessness, isolation and anxiety within their communities.
The four week course explores various subjects including the meaning of happiness, forgiveness, gratitude and relationships. It also draws on scientific research, ancient wisdom and real life experience which aims to encourage people to reflect on what constitutes a good life.
Livability’s Andrew Parnham, a former doctor and church leader from the Happiness Course said:
“I have delivered the course numerous times and it never fails to astonish me how much it resonates with people. The Happiness Course explores those things that make us happy, what true success is, and the vital importance of relationships and meaning. These are all timely matters as health professionals agree that stress, anxiety and loneliness are at epidemic levels and people are desperate for a way through these challenges and difficulties. The course tackles some of these issues head on and provides a holistic approach for people whatever their background.”
Last November the community engagement team hosted its first Happiness Course leaders training day which saw 25 people equipped and ready to deliver the course in their own communities. Since then at least five courses have taken place including with a group of Muslim women/ mothers of young children in Tower Hamlets and with a group of office workers in Poole.
Ryan Ahern, pastor of Staplehurst Free Church in Kent who has been running the course, said:
“Fun, challenging, fascinating and life changing are all words I have heard to describe the Happiness Course. Since launching our first course in February this year, we are mid-way through our second one with two more already scheduled to start in May. Those on the courses have benefited significantly both personally and in their relationships with others. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone!”
The Next Happiness course Leaders Training Day is happening in Liverpool on May 8th from 9.30am-5.00pm with future days planned in Poole and London during the summer. For more information including how to book your ticket visit here.
For more information on the course visit: http://www.abilitysunday.org.uk/church/happiness/