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Tearfund studies happiness

NewsAid agencies CAFOD and Teddington-based Tearfund have released findings into their study into what makes people happy.

More than half of Britons polled believe that helping others (both here and abroad) is important in achieving happiness. This breaks down into 75% believing helping others in the UK is linked to happiness versus 54% abroad. 90% also believe it’s important that we strive to live in a world where the environment is protected and poverty doesn’t exist.

The survey was undertaken by on their behalf by Think-tank Theos and also found that 97% said that spending time with friends and family was their top priority whereas having an interesting job was also high at 92%. As we all know, money isn’t everything and the statistics mirror this – 64% said that income was their priority.

Tearfund Chief Executive Matthew Frost: “It’s interesting that in this time of economic uncertainty, when we might have expected people to prioritise income over all else, we have instead found that people look outwards to the state of the environment, world poverty and personal relationships with others as their measures of happiness.

“It is hugely important to people to enjoy interesting and productive work, and to have healthy relationships and friendships – people measure happiness by what they give to others and what they gain in return. Of course a level of financial security is essential, but it’s clear that British people recognise that the people in our lives come first.”

Tearfund’s green HQ in Teddington

This study coincides with ‘Wholly Living’ – a study by CAFOD and Tearfund that encourages the government and people of all faiths (and none) to enter this discussion about how best to holistically create environments in which we all can flourish and are also happy – to the benefit of society as a whole. A list of proposals for the UK government has been included in the study findings.

Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency that helps those in need around the world – their aims include defeating disease, improving basic services, resolving economic injustice, restoring the environment, tackling disaster.

Tearfund and its partners have been involved in helping those affected by recent high-profile disasters including the devastating earthquake in Haita and the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan.


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