We launched in West Hants / Windsor Nova Scotia on October 19th in a new way. What’s happening is simply awe-inspiring. The goal is the same, create more robust wellbeing and resiliency for communities. The way we do that is strengthen every citizens sense of belonging through stronger social connections.
What’s new is in West Hants / Windsor is we have approached this in a new way.
WHAT HAPPENED IN WEST HANTS / WINDSOR
We started with a bang. We invited every citizen to be part of the Happy Community Project. And they showed up and decided what they wanted to do for their community. Citizens came up with the ideas and they are putting the ideas into action.
Ideas like a Farmers Market has been tried out in a new format and it turned out to be a great success. 40 vendors showed up and many of them sold out because hundreds and hundreds of people showed up to make the place buzz with energy.
The Ellershouse Breakfast was scheduled for closure when 31 new people came forward and said they would keep it going so that 300 local citizens can come together in fellowship and good cheer each month.
Tom Calkin wanted to create a process to welcome newcomers to the community so he approached the local Gyros club. 14 people have decided to take a three point action to make sure newcomers get to know people and can belong to the community right off the bat.
The idea of a Community Food Hub/Kitchen is quickly evolving into reality – maybe even as a new business for the region- not only providing social connections, but possibly employment.
We launched in a new way, and in only 6 weeks, over 75 people have come forward and said I want to be part of making our community a dynamic, exciting, safe a socially active place to live. Over 400 people are actively involved in the conversation. Hundreds more are watching with curiosity. The Happy Community Project is in the talk around dinner tables, cafes and on the street.
More excitingly – as people see that something real is happening, more and more people are showing up to be part of it.
THE HAPPY COMMUNITY PROJECT IS BEING NOTICED
We are doing things that are making real results and it is getting noticed. Many communities struggle with aging populations, weary volunteers and citizens that are disillusioned or overwhelmed with busy. West Hants /Windsor is being noticed and other towns are coming forward and saying we want Happy Community Project in our community as well. They want what West Hants/ Windsor has and we have a plan on how to take this process anywhere. Next week we start conversations with other communities that have come forward.
Academic researchers are also noticing that something unique is going on and are asking us to partner with them to bring science to the process. This is exciting because they are bringing ideas and tools that can help us make an even bigger impact. For example, wouldn’t it be great to have a credible measurement for how much impact the Happy Community Project has had on wellbeing and resiliency.
And the main stream press is also noticing that something is happening with the Happy Community Project. In 4 weeks, we have had three articles published.
People are noticing that something special is happening in West Hants / Windsor and the Happy Community Project
OUR NEXT STEPS
The goal is that all communities can be Happy Communities that they can apply the principles to their communities for creating wellbeing and resiliency.
The ideas behind the Happy Community Project are simple, increase social connections and belonging and you increase wellbeing and resiliency. But we have learned through experience that they aren’t so easy to make happen. As the saying goes “ the devil is in the details”. That is why we have put the Happy Community Project ideas together a process. Each step in the process works together for the one goal – increasing social connections and belonging in the community. Our next steps is to formalize the process into a training program which is what we are working on now.
Then the next step after that is to roll it out so every community can be a Happy Community.
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