Give us a call on +44 (0)20 3326 6289
Home Blog Strengths We Love The Happy List

We Love The Happy List


As you can imagine, anything called The Happy List is going to catch our eye in the Practically Positive office and The Independent on Sunday's Happy List did just that. Released for the first time in 2008 as an antidote to lists of the rich & famous, such as those from Forbes and The Sunday Times, the "feel good list" contains "100 people who, without thought of personal gain, give back and help others, rather than themselves." Following a huge amount of support from the UK and around the world it was soon made an annual event.

The seventh annual Happy List was published on the 25th May and features: "a 93-year-old who has raised more than £100,000 for Age UK by dressing as a bee; a teacher who donated a kidney to one of his pupils; the world's oldest barmaid; the limbless Plymouth man who founded a charity to help other amputees; the London woman who founded a pop-up restaurant that employs only refugees and migrants; a couple who set up a bereavement service for parents who have lost a baby; and the heroic lollipop lady of Rhoose."

We love it. What a great positive and inspiring message! Happiness often lies in small but significant acts of kindness, which are shown to make us far happier than material things (or for having kind things done to us). The stories of the 100 individuals making Britain a better, more beautiful and ultimately happier place are wonderful in themselves but the people on the list also offer a lot of inspiration to others. Their efforts are easier to emulate and achieve and far more valuable to society at large than the efforts of most of the billionaires listed by Forbes or The Sunday Times, although their philanthropic activities are of course much needed too.

A big thank you to each and every one of the 100, we love what you're doing and hope your appearance on the list and reading your fantastic stories inspires lots more people to get involved.

These are some of the stories that struck us most of all - descriptions from The Independent on Sunday. We're sure they'll bring a smile to your face.

Jaime Bautista - Charity founder

Colombian-born Jaime, from London, founded the SMart Network in 2000. It gives homeless and socially excluded people job opportunities as well as the chance to develop their performing arts skills. Jaime has struck up partnerships with the British Museum and Tate Britain.

Jean Bishop: Buzzing fundraiser

Known as the Busy Bee throughout east Yorkshire, 93-year-old Jean began raising money for Age UK Hull 14 years ago after her husband died. She wears a bee costume (made by her daughter) while rattling her tin, and has so far collected over £100,000.

Alf Collington - Foodbank founder

When businessman Alf retired and began to notice the poverty in Falkirk, he was compelled to set up a foodbank in 2012. Starting life in his kitchen, it has grown rapidly, distributing 10.5 tons of food to date. Alf has eight volunteers and sometimes works 80-hour weeks.

Colin Marvell: Job finder

After a banking career, partially-sighted Colin, from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was unemployed at 50. His struggle to find another job prompted him to launch Inspire4Work, a charity that helps the older unemployed gain new work. He also organises soul music events in aid of charity.

Charlie Simpson: Fundraising cyclist

Charlie, aged 11, from west London has been raising money for international children's charity Unicef since he was seven. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he cycled round his local Fulham park seven times. Word of this feat spread, meaning he eventually raised a massive £260,000.

Robert Williams: Kindness dispenser

Robert helped set up The Kindness Offensive, a group which carries out "random acts of kindness" across London, from delivering Christmas gifts to the underprivileged to handing out chocolate to passers-by. One nominator said Robert has "a real impact" on Londoners' happiness.

Finally, and sadly posthumously, someone that you already know touched our hearts and inspired a nation...

Stephen Sutton - Leaves a life-changing legacy

After being told his colorectal cancer was incurable in January 2013, 19-year-old Stephen raised £3.2m for the Teenage Cancer Trust. However, Stephen's condition deteriorated shortly after being nominated for the Happy List, and he died shortly before the list was published. The total raised for TCT now nears £4m.

The full Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2014 is available here.

If you'd like to find out more about volunteering get in touch with and to find out more about random acts of kindness read our blog.



5 Ways you can Achieve Flow 18 April 2018, 00.00 Sharon
5 Ways you can Achieve Flow
Often described as a state of mind in which you can experience total immersion and involvement in what you’re doing, where things happen effortlessly and time disappears, flow is what athletes often call “being in the



Protect. Enable. Strengthen. Flourish. Your business is in their heads.