This Green Paper makes the case for a Nature and Wellbeing Act for England to halt the decline in nature and speed its recovery, for the benefit of people and our environment. We need a new legal commitment to the restoration of nature for the next generation. To achieve this ambition, we need new laws to ensure protection and enhancement of nature as an investment in our nation’s prosperity. We need to reconnect people with nature. From the local level up, the enhancement of our natural environment would be realised through local visions of how, where and why more nature can be delivered through planning and spending decisions. Nature’s recovery would bring a range of benefits, not least, for our health and wellbeing. Inactivity and obesity are escalating; poor mental health is having a significant impact on wellbeing; climate change is already affecting our urban areas and the productivity of our countryside; many of our villages, towns and cities face growing risk of flooding; and our economy continues to use many of our natural “assets” in an unsustainable way, which is likely to be a brake on progress and development in the future. The list is long.
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The UK food system today faces three major challenges: we need to ensure food security, domestically and globally; our production and consumption of food must be environmentally sustainable; and our food policy must promote public health. Only a socially just food system can meet these challenges, but considerations of fairness are largely peripheral to food policy debate, which instead tends to focus on economic and environmental issues. This report presents the findings of the Food Ethics Council’s Food and Fairness Inquiry, which was set up in order to remedy the relative neglect of social justice in public debate about food policy. It reveals the extent of social injustice in the food system within the UK and at global level, and demonstrates how this unfairness impedes progress towards sustainable food and farming. The problems are several and profound – but the evidence presented to the Inquiry also points the way forward, towards a sustainable, healthy, and fair food system. The report maps out this future trajectory for food policy, and identifies the respective responsibilities of UK government, businesses and civil society.
Is it any surprise that four out of five British citizens want the government to act on inequality? The richest 1% of the UK population are now wealthier than the poorest 50% put together – a disparity that has been growing steadily since the 1970s, and on current trends is set to get even worse. But this isn’t about the politics of envy; nor is it purely about what is morally right or wrong. We have convincing evidence that extreme economic inequality is contributing decisively to financial instability, wasted human capital, lower well-being and mental health, domination of politics by an elite few and low voter turn out. We can no longer afford to ignore our inequality problem. It’s time for action. The authors of this report call on the government to start with two key steps. The first is to set a tangible target to reduce economic inequality, as they have for child poverty. The second is to establish a high-level commission on economic inequality tasked with devising a broad policy agenda to tackle the drivers of inequality. They then identify five high-level goals that must be achieved to address some of the root drivers of economic inequality. Each goal is accompanied with a set of policy area priorities.
This information guide has been prepared by Age UK and contains general advice only, it should not be relied on as a basis for any decision or action and cannot be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. It’s never too late to think about adopting a healthier lifestyle. It doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to change your diet and start spending every day at the gym. Just a few small changes can make a big difference – making you feel better, giving you more energy and helping you to sleep more soundly. Research shows that having a positive attitude to life in general, and to getting older, can help you enjoy better health too. Choosing activities that give you an opportunity to meet people or play an active role in your local community can also help.It’s important to remember the parts of your body that are crucial to keeping active – your feet, eyes and ears. This guide highlights changes you may like to consider and the benefits they can bring.
This resource guide aims to support employers and employees to access information on improving health and wellbeing at work. Putting in place an effective workplace health programme that meets the needs of each business requires access to effective tools and information, which will help assess the needs of employees and assist with developing and implementing plans. This guide uses the World Health Organization (WHO) model as the basis for developing a workplace health programme. The WHO model involves eight stages and four aspects of the working environment. Included in the guide are information and contact details for organisations in Northern Ireland that can provide information and support to businesses on each of these aspects. The guide also includes case studies on local businesses that implemented a workplace health programme and a sample health and wellbeing action plan.
Chaired by former minister for mental health, Paul Burstow MP, the CentreForum Mental Health Commission concludes its 12 month study on the state of wellbeing in England by identifying five key priorities between now and 2020. The Commission's final report titled 'The pursuit of happiness' calls on policymakers to: • Establish the mental wellbeing of the nation or the “pursuit of happiness” as a clear and measurable goal of government. • Roll out a National Wellbeing Programme to promote mutual support, self-care and recovery, and reduce the crippling stigma that too often goes hand in hand with mental ill health. • Prioritise investment in the mental health of children and young people right from conception. • Make places of work mental health friendly with government leading the way as an employer. • Better equip primary care to identify and treat mental health problems, closing the treatment gap that leaves one in four of the adult population needlessly suffering from depression and anxiety and 1-2% experiencing a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. The report also calls for parity of funding for mental health which currently receives 13% of NHS spend in England but accounts for 23% of demand. It is estimated that £13 billion is overspent every year on dealing with the physical health consequences of this unmet need.
Welcome to the UK’s top twenty “Transition oriented” social enterprises. Combined these enterprises have a turnover of £3.5 million and provide paid employment for more than 100 people. We think they’re rather brilliant examples of people just doing stuff. Each of these enterprises demonstrates a different way of working from business as usual – they are sustainable, offer some social benefits and have shared ownership, while providing essential goods and services for the community in which they make their home. They provide jobs for local people, as well as volunteering opportunities, and they buy from other local independent business. Most have emerged from a local Transition group or have links to Transition in some way.
The Good Childhood Report 2014 contains new findings from the ground breaking, nine-year programme of research on children’s well-being, involving around 50,000 children. This work is carried out in collaboration with the University of York and has become the most extensive national research programme on children’s subjective well-being in the world. The objective of each report is to focus on children’s subjective well-being, drawing on the most recent evidence available for the UK, plus some comparative findings from other countries.
The report investigates the threats and opportunities for the country from climate change, focusing on the risks to infrastructure, business and public health. It also provides an update on previous analysis on flooding, and considers the current capacity in the emergency response system to handle climate extremes.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Wellbeing Economics is made up of politicians from all major political parties. It was set up to: • Provide a forum for discussion of wellbeing issues and public policy in Parliament; • promote enhancement of wellbeing as an important government goal; • encourage the adoption of wellbeing indicators as complimentary measures of progress to GDP; • and promote policies designed to enhance wellbeing. The group’s officers are David Lammy MP (Chair), Baroness Claire Tyler (Vice-chair), Dr Julian Huppert MP (Vice-chair), Helen Goodman MP (Treasurer) and Caroline Lucas MP (Secretary). The New Economics Foundation (NEF) acts as secretariat for the group. This report is the result of a year-long inquiry by the cross-party group of MPs exploring how wellbeing evidence can be translated into policy in four diverse areas: labour markets, planning and transport, mindfulness in health and education, and arts and culture. It calls for more focus on stable employment as opposed to economic growth, and stresses that in tough economic times it is all the more vital that we remain focussed on building a high wellbeing recovery.
Shaping our Age was a three year research and development project supported by the Big Lottery Research Programme and a unique partnership between Royal Voluntary Service, the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University and the Centre for Social Action at De Montfort University. The project aimed to connect and interweave two key concerns: improving older people’s well-being and increasing their involvement while providing new insights into emerging issues around ageing by: - Exploring how older people understand and define their well-being - Selecting five WRVS services to participate in action and development projects - Developing participatory ways through local activities in which older people could help each other to achieve well-being - Providing the learning that could help to enable and support older people to improve their and other people’s well-being
The research has shown that a significant minority of children in the UK have low levels of well-being. This will have severe impact on their childhood and life chances, as well as on the families and communities around them, and the agencies that support them. They also now know that policy makers can do something about this. The evidence shows that external factors play a major role in determining children’s life satisfaction and life chances. From this evidence, we have identified six priorities that promote positive well-being for children and can make a real difference to their lives. The six priorities for children’s well-being are: 1. The conditions to learn and develop 2. A positive view of themselves and an identity that is respected 3. Have enough of what matters 4. Positive relationships with family and friends 5. A safe and suitable home environment and local area 6. Opportunity to take part in positive activities to thrive
This new discussion document highlights the overwhelming evidence for major changes to national food and farming policy. It’s been written by a collaboration of 10 UK organisations: the RSPB, Friends of the Earth, the National Trust, the Food Ethics Council, Sustain, the Wildlife Trusts, the Soil Association, Eating Better and Compassion in World Farming working with the Food Research Collaboration. It calls for stronger government leadership in planning the future use of land, food policy, farming and conservation in England and for wider public engagement on issues that affect the whole of society. The report focuses on four key inter-connected areas and proposes solutions for: - Improving health: getting a grip on the growing crisis of obesity and diet-related ill-health - Good food for all: tackling food poverty, ensuring fair food supply chains - Sustainable farming: investing in a resilient farming system in the face of climate change and dwindling resources - Enhancing nature: to bring back colour to the countryside and protect the natural environment on which we all depend. Square Meal aims to start a wider conversation about how to secure a healthy countryside and healthy food for everyone, and get greater public benefit from our food and farming system.
Planning sustainable cities for community food growing, a guide to using planning policy to meet strategic objectives through community food growing, is published today by Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming. The guide brings together, for the first time in one place, examples of planning policies around the UK that support community food growing and inspiring examples of local community gardens. It is aimed primarily at planning authorities to help them use food growing as a way of improving people’s health and mental wellbeing, transforming derelict sites and creating green spaces for people and wildlife to thrive. It follows the government’s recent Planning Practice Guidance for the National Planning Policy Framework in England, which requires planners to support the provision of space for food growing as part of building a healthy community - a principle that is relevant across the whole of the UK. Dr Hugh Ellis, Town and Country Planning Association, who wrote the foreword for the report, said: “Truly sustainable development can deliver multiple benefits such as social housing, zero carbon design, sustainable transport and local food sourcing, and this report puts community food growing into this mix, showing how more planning authorities could easily be following suit and making this standard practice in their plan making and decision taking.” The report highlights the range of strategic objectives that community food growing contributes to and illustrates this with examples of planning policies and decisions, and projects, to show why and how to provide more food growing spaces.
The findings from a national summit exploring how organisations can start to positively use the new arrangements for public health and commissioning are now available. Discussions at the colloquium, bringing together leaders in environmental health, NHS, public health, social services, and general practice, focused on the neccessary components of a new co-production model for public health, addressing the questions: • How to exploit the opportunities created by the integration of public health and local government? • How to maximise the new structures, approaches and democratic accountabilities to deliver public health outcomes and a reduction in inequalities?
This document is aimed at commissioners and providers of culture and leisure services in England. It is designed to help them to: - Understand and engage more effectively and collaboratively with each other and the health and wellbeing agenda; - Introduce the structures, frameworks and outcomes relating to public health; - Contribute to health and wellbeing in their locality by engaging with the right partnerships and strategic commissioning processes and; - More convincingly demonstrate the contribution the sector can make. The document is also intended to: - Highlight to public health commissioners how culture and leisure can help to tackle unhealthy lifestyles, address the social determinants of health, offer cost effective approaches, bring creative solutions and engage communities, families and individuals in managing their wellbeing.
This guidance is designed to support partnership working in the integration of sustainability into the JSNA and demonstrate the clear benefits of this approach. Working through will help to ensure that key aspects have been considered and cross referenced throughout the JSNA.
The aim of this toolkit is to assist Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) in integrating climate change adaptation into the local health economy. It also highlights how Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWS) can be used to achieve this aim, for the benefit of communities.
Every place will have a different set of geographical, social, economic and demographic set of circumstances which means that a local approach is needed to support communities to thrive, be more sustainable, resilient and healthy in changing times and climates. NHS, public health and social care organisations play an important role in local communities, as employers, and as core public service providers. They are an integral part of communities and can help support community groups, local agencies and local people to further build a sense of place and identity so people want to live, work and invest there. These elements create the conditions for improved health and wellbeing. This area is divided into two parts that focus on: Developing local frameworks Building resilience to climate change and adverse events
Health and wellbeing boards are an important feature of the reforms introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. All upper-tier local authorities set up shadow boards in April 2012, which became fully operational on 1 April 2013. The boards are intended to bring together bodies from the NHS, public health and local government, including Healthwatch as the patient's voice, jointly to plan how best to meet local health and care needs, and to commission services accordingly. In our previous report on health and wellbeing boards, published shortly after the shadow boards were established, we concluded that the single biggest test would be whether they could offer strong, credible and shared leadership across local organisational boundaries. One year on, expectations of what the boards should deliver have never been higher. This report examines how the boards have used their shadow year, what they have achieved, and whether they are providing effective leadership across local systems of care.
This report reveals that youngers teenagers have lower well-being than other age groups in most aspects of their lives. The findings come from our eight-year, ground-breaking programme of research, in collaboration with the University of York, to explore and measure children’s subjective well-being. This is the second in our series of annual reports to outline what we know about the quality of children’s lives – as rated by children themselves. What does the report say? So far, we have run surveys and consultations with over 42,000 children aged eight and above.
The Prince's Trust Macquarie Youth Index has found that more than three quarters of a million young people believe they have nothing to live for, with jobless youngsters facing “devastating” symptoms of mental illness. The research reveals that long-term unemployed young people are more than twice as likely as their peers to have been prescribed anti-depressants. One in three have contemplated suicide, while one in four have self-harmed. The findings are based on interviews with 2,161 16-to-25-year-olds and show that 40 per cent of jobless young people have faced these symptoms of mental illness – including suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks – as a direct result of unemployment. Long-term unemployed young people are also more than twice as likely as their peers to believe they have nothing to live for.
The UK has a unique resource. As of April 2011, the UK’s largest survey, the Annual Population Survey (APS), has included four questions on subjective well-being. The data from the survey will allow analysts both inside and outside government to better understand the determinants of well-being.