Two cities intent on turning dreams into reality
On Saturday last week I went on a road trip to Brighton for World Mental Health day. The draw, quite aside from the fact that Brighton is a very cool place to visit, was to meet up with the Brighton Action for Happiness group which worked with Happy City to produce Brighton’s first HappyList back in June. The central Jubilee Library had been transformed with a Happiness Cafe and the staff had pulled out all the stops to show off their mood boosting books ‘on prescription’ service.
The team ran a couple of workshops drawing on ideas that feature in the Exploring What Matters course developed by Action for Happiness. Being a public library, it was a little like performing in Covent Garden, with people coming and going and a constant buzz in the background – and it worked well! Action for Happiness has been promoting the ’10 keys to happier living’ since 2013 through an acronym spelling out the words ‘GREAT DREAM’ – we all agreed that Bristol and Brighton are great places for dreams of a happier world to become a reality. We decided to twin these two ‘happy cities’. There – it’s a thing and we’re now officially connected.
So having declared our cities kinship, we planned how to build on the connection between our organisations made over the HappyList. We’re both very practical organisations, keen to get things done, so the terms of our draft ‘accord’ are simple. Support each other in achieving our shared mission, and help each other gather the resources to get things done.
We agreed to take things a step at a time, building on the strengths we already have, starting with a swap. Brighton will help Bristol develop Happiness Cafe’s, and Bristol will help Brighton deliver Happy City’s 5 Ways of Wellbeing tools and projects. This seemed like a pretty good start. We’ll keep you posted on how we get on.