Friday 20th March is International Day of Happiness.

2015’s day of happiness is all about focusing on the importance of people’s connections with others.

Connecting communities is something we’re very passionate about at Forever Manchester, and we have had Community Builders connecting people in communities across Greater Manchester including:

  • Oldham – Alt, St James and St Mary’s
  • Trafford – Stretford, Lostock and Gorse Hill
  • Bolton – Great Lever

We have also now begun connecting the Moston and Harpurhey areas, which is a project we have just started thanks to funding from Spirit of 2012.

We’ve had some great quotes from the people we’ve helped across Greater Manchester. Here’s a couple of quotes from two residents in the Trafford area:

“Getting out and meeting different people is one of the best doses of medicine you can have”

“Getting involved with my neighbours keeps me young” 

According to research from International Day of Happiness, “Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking; and the epidemic of loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity,” this is why we feel the role of our Community Builders is so important.

Connecting people in areas of Greater Manchester is something we focus on heavily. Our aim is to go into different areas and take them on a journey from disconnected, to connected. Community Builders initiate conversations with people outside the school gates, in the local shop or at the bus stop and invite them along to a get-together or gathering to learn about their assets and what skills or hobbies they have.

With this, they help to connect them with other people who share the same interests or want to learn new skills. This connects people who are new to the area, or people who are feeling lonely or may have a low self-esteem and gives them reason to leave the house.

At our Community Building events across Greater Manchester we ask people to tell us what they love in their area (as seen in the photo above). We call this ‘Smiles for Miles’. Smiles for Miles encourages people to smile at people they pass on the street or people they’re talking to, taking advantage of a smile being infectious, and passing on happiness to someone who may be having a down day, or may just need perking up.

This International Happiness Day, Forever Manchester ask you all to smile at passers by, or at someone in the office, and make that smile go miles.

Happy International Happiness Day to all of our supporters – you make us very happy every day!