Five ways to wellbeing
Voluntary Action Lewisham has been promoting the Five ways to wellbeing as a set of overarching ideas that can promote connectedness and reduce loneliness.
The Five ways were developed by the New Economics Foundation in 2008 as a simple set of ideas that helped individuals improve their wellbeing. This work is based on research from over 400 scientists on what factors contribute to people’s wellbeing. These have been adopted by various charities across the country, as well as councils and NHS trusts.
What are the Five ways to wellbeing?
Central to the Five Ways is promoting ways of connecting with others. Below is a simple summary of the Five ways to wellbeing and some examples of how to achieve them:
- Connect: Making an effort to connect with others - family, friends, fellow volunteers, neighbours.
- Keep learning: Trying something new – joining an evening course or learning a musical instrument.
- Give: spending time on others, doing something for a friend or becoming a volunteer at a charity.
- Take notice: joining a mindfulness class, focusing on the present, reflecting on the positives in life.
- Be active: going for a walk, joining a walking group, joining a gardening club, etc.
Promoting connections, tackling loneliness
While the ideas behind the Five Ways to Wellbeing may seem simple, the staff attending events have been keen to find out more. Although still in its early stages, there is clearly a demand to learn more about the Five Ways to Wellbeing as a way of connecting people and reducing loneliness.
Key to connecting people is connecting the voluntary and community sector services that operate in the borough. Better connections between these organisations will lead to better referrals between organisations and improved pathways for residents to access the services that will tackle loneliness.
Building a network
We’ve made strong links with the Community Health Improvement Service delivered by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust to share understanding of the Five Ways as a way of tackling loneliness. We’ve also shared this approach with local GPs, Lewisham CCG, public health and Lewisham council employees.Click here to download a list of organisations with whom we’re working to promote the Five ways to wellbeing.
A report outlining the importance of the Five Ways to Wellbeing was presented to the Lewisham Health and Wellbeing Board on 25 November 2014 can be downloaded here. The report was welcomed by the board, and they are considering whether to promote the Five Ways to Wellbeing more widely.