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How to glow on the outside

Despite the grey, drizzly conditions of a late spring Bradford morning, 85 early years and health professionals learned how to shine at our first official Nurturing Knowledge event.

Dr Happy – AKA Andy Cope of Art of Brilliance – challenged attendees to take on a society that does everything it can to make us believe we’re not good enough, and turn things round to our advantage.

Armed with research findings from his PhD around positive psychology and engagement, he invited everyone to seek and create happiness NOW, from within, and not pin our hopes on it happening once we’ve achieved X, Y or Z.

He advised against ‘busyness’, suggesting people create a ‘to be’ list (tips to make you your best self) and focus less on the ‘to do’ list. He encouraged people to make eye contact with strangers, smile, think differently, and lavish their nearest and dearest with 7 second-long hugs.

Kindness in public policy

Better Start Bradford’s Head of Programme, Gill Thornton, linked Andy’s challenges and advice back to the Better Start Bradford programme and the wider world in which it operates.

She stressed how important relationships had been even in the very earliest stages of the bid for Better Start Bradford, and that those relationships are still at the core of everything Better Start Bradford is doing. She also stated that kindness, emotional intelligence, empathy are all key to helping our communities and families.

In the wider context of public services and public policy, she argued that improvement in outcomes and behaviour change all require empathy and emotional intelligence building on personal contact, bearing in mind that this approach goes against the norm as it requires a focus on relationships rather than ‘transactions’.

She suggested that it all starts with kindness and encouraged everyone to keep building relationships and to be kind.

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