One Housing have today (4th March) announced a new social economy partnership with Haptivate, a happiness training start-up.
The partnership addresses recent research by the Global Wellness Institute showing that more people are concerned about their mental health ‘than ever before’, with wellness industries growing by nearly 13% to £3.2tn from 2015 to 2017.
Haptivate co-founders, Rosa Connor and James Pacey, have so they devised a system of interactive workshops to help people explore practical well-being and happiness techniques, based on the latest advances in neuroscience.
One Housing currently offer social economy partnerships to a selected range of businesses and charities, offering discounted commercial space to successful applicants in return for creating value and opportunities for their customer community.
The association are said to have seen a ‘clear potential’ for Haptivate’s services to add value for both customers and staff alike, inviting them to take up residence at Arlington House, the UK’s largest homeless hostel.
In addition to implementing well-being workshops and training for staff, Haptivate have said to have worked closely with One Housing’s Employment and Training team to develop targeted workshops to address the most common well-being issues affecting quality of life for customers.
Additionally, whilst it is common within the sector for social landlords to offer training schemes to help customers find employment, they are often predominantly geared towards hard skills.
The partnership further highlights that poor personal well-being often poses a significant barrier to finding and staying in work, which can often be left unaddressed.
The partnership is said to be gaining traction amongst training participants, with Hilary, a One Housing customer, saying: “When I started attending Haptivate sessions, I was in a dark place and dealing with a lot of difficult social and emotional issues.
“The training has really helped me to slow down, relax and find a sense of inner peace. Now when things get to me, I can use breathing techniques to take time out.
“It’s helped me to really reconnect with myself and my ambitions. I now write every day and would like to write a book. I’m also working at getting back into teaching.”
On the partnership, David Leeves, One Housing’s Director of Social Mobility, says: “All good organisations are switched on to the importance of wellbeing and offering workshops with Haptivate is a great way to do something practical to address it.
“Their novel approach has meant that the sessions have attracted many people who would not naturally have thought to attend.
“We have seen the benefits of greater understanding, improved communication and collaboration across the organisation.”
Haptivate Co-Founder, Rosa Connor added: “Research has established that there’s a vicious cycle between unemployment and poor mental well-being.
“Unemployment can majorly impact mental health which then makes it more challenging to find work. Haptivate have been working with One Housing to break that negative cycle.
“We’ve found that incorporating well-being skills training into employability programmes enhances engagement, participation and outcomes.”