We believe in a happier, kinder and more playful world.
Science has shown that happiness is a skill that everyone can learn.
So we want to share these happiness skills widely, so all can benefit.
Like all skills it takes patience, and we aim to provide a supportive environment where you can discover what works for you.
We are not here to force happiness upon you. Instead, we are creating a warm community space to explore this important aspect of being human.
To continue our mission to spread and share happiness around the globe, we are raising these funds to open the world's first dedicated Museum of Happiness in Camden, London.
We want to start a Museum of Happiness movement - spreading pop-up Museums of Happiness all over the world! In homes, schools, offices, hospitals and more!
Can you help us? Because together we can do it!
What are you trying to achieve?
Mental health is an urgent and important social issue facing us today.
Did you know that depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation?
More people die through suicide than through wars, terrorist acts and natural disasters put together on an annual basis.
At the Museum of Happiness we offer tangible, science-based tools you can implement into your everyday lives.
Our society needs such physical spaces like a Museum of Happiness to explore this vital skill, emotion and state of being in a secular way. We want to :
- run a full program of events.
- develop interactive displays and offer guided tours.
- expand our outreach programme and offer services to people experiencing isolation.
Most importantly, we can run initiatives to bring people together to create friendships, have fun and find balance in a city of chaos, regardless of your background or belief system.
What makes our project great?
The Museum of Happiness is a not-for-profit organisation.
The experiences we offer are based on our four core values: compassion, creativity, community and mindfulness.
The Museum of Happiness differs from others museums as it doesn’t place relics in glass cases - instead it provides interactive learning experiences.
We offer classes like art therapy, yoga, self-compassion meditation, mindfulness, laughter yoga, singing, dancing, play workshops and learning new fun skills like how to play the Ukulele or how to do origami mindfully.
All of our activities are fun, inclusive, pressure-free, and most importantly free from judgment as we think you’re perfect, exactly as you are! At the Museum of Happiness, everyone is welcome.
By opening up a dedicated museum in Camden, we will transform the space into a relaxing sanctuary.
We hope to have park benches, beautiful murals, clouds hanging from the ceiling, lots of plants and interactive activities on happiness on the walls!
You'll have lots of little activities you can do in just a few minutes that encourage you to enjoy and spread happiness and kindness in different ways.
There's nothing like this anywhere in the world!
With this location within a housing association, we will also build a warm, caring local community, including those who have experienced homelessness. And we are fully open to the general public too.
Not in London? Don't worry! We will create ripples of positivity worldwide by sharing the stories we collect and offer ways to start your very own mini Museum of Happiness, if you look at the rewards.
Who are we?
We are a small team of 3 with a squad of amazing supporters.
We all currently volunteer our time and effort to provide this service to the general public and we couldn’t be happier to do it.
Shamash Alidina is core team member and co-founder of the Museum of Happiness. He's also a Mindfulness Teacher Trainer, Speaker, and Author of Mindfulness for Dummies. He speaks at conferences and organisations around the world on the topics of Mindfulness, Kindfulness or Happiness. He's been a full-time successful social entrepreneur since 2010. He holds two Masters degrees, in Engineering and in Education.
Vicky Johnson is core team member and co-founder of the Museum of Happiness. She was previously senior mentor for NCS The Challenge - the UK's leading charity training young people in positive skills for both work and life. She's taught happiness classes in schools, community centres and corporate organisations. She holds a degree in Event Management and is a trained coach, mindfulness and laughter yoga teacher.
Rosa Connor is core team member and director of Museum of Happiness. She currently works part time for London Youth and has experience in running wellbeing training programs and train the trainer programs. She's a fully qualified Yoga Teacher, Mindfulness Teacher and Laughter Yoga Teacher, and has also trained specifically to also offer Yoga to adolescents. She has trained with Almeida theatre to be a workshop leader. She holds a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing.
We also have a small team of core volunteers who help us with everything from PR to Videography and Strategy to help sweeping up the Museum at the end of the day. Without them, we would never be able to do what we do.
What's your story?
Three years ago the Museum of Happiness was an idea discussed on summer strolls around Hyde Park.
We wanted to offer a sanctuary where people of all ages and backgrounds could come together to feel safe, peaceful and happy and learn about their own wellbeing.
We were inspired by UK charity Action for Happiness and the Museum of Nonsense (Nonseum) in Austria.
One year later, we started delivering pop-up events and we were overwhelmed with the response. People from all over the world were coming to our events and asking, “where is the museum of happiness actually based? I want to bring my friends next week!”
We would sadly tell them it was folded up in a shed – which wasn’t exactly great for our image! Our activities were all running on a volunteer basis and venue hire in London was beyond our financial means.
Last year, we were kindly offered a small space at the back of The Canvas Café – London’s first Happy Café. Here we were able to open to the public, run regular classes, workshops and provide a space for anyone to drop in. We started developing training programmes and workshops that we have taken into organisations and began to develop an outreach programme for communities who may have barriers towards accessing our space.
We offer pay-it-forward weekly classes in mindfulness, art and yoga and weekend workshops. We gift the space, teachers gift their time and attendees and invited to do an act of kindness for their friends or family.
This summer we’ve been given the opportunity to enter into a partnership with One Housing Group and take over a beautiful big space in Arlington House – the UK’s biggest homeless hostel. We feel so humbled and excited by the response to this work.
How is the money being spent?
We are committed to making the Museum of Happiness a sustainable social enterprise but really need your initial support to get started.
We have big plans to offer a varied program of events to all Londoners and tourists but there is only so much we can offer with a team of three volunteers. We have trained experts waiting and ready to go and with more money we can offer more services to more people.
Your money will go towards:
- an outreach programme so we can take the museum of happiness into housing estates, homeless people, schools, hospitals, youth organisations, care homes and communities that have barriers to accessing these services.
- renovating the space and buying equipment to creating an urban sanctuary full of fun events and interactive experiences.
- offering free spaces to all events for homeless, unemployed, and those on low-income wages.
- maintaining and nurturing a community, where everybody feels welcome.
We want to transform the space into a natural sanctuary of peace and joy.
Here's an image of what the space could look like if we secure the funding.
Many thanks to Darren, one of our volunteers, for creating this 3D mock up!
We feel so moved at the thought of you donating to our cause that we want to make sure you feel happy and satisfied with our thank you gifts!
We are offering everything from t-shirts and postcards to courses, tickets, and annual membership.
You even get the chance to create your very own little museum of happiness – in a box! Inside you will find resources to build your own museum of happiness wherever you like - in your home or office.
We know gifting feels good! We feel so grateful for your contribution, whatever you can afford. You'll be a part of this important movement.
What's s the hashtag for this campaign?
#sharehappiness - use it on social media, share your happy face or quote, and we will like it too!
Twitter @museumhappiness Instagram @museumhappiness Facebook.com/museumofhappiness
When will this museum open?!
If this crowdfunder is successful, we will open in September 2017! Yay!
What if you don't make your target?
If we don't meet our target, all the money you pledged will be returned to you and we don't get anything. We then may not be able to open this museum. We hope that doesn't happen! With your help to hit the target, we will be open and sharing happiness within months.
When will I get my rewards?
We have written an estimated delivery time underneath each reward that you selected. We'll ensure we deliver it to you by then.
Will the museum be free to visit?
We hope so. If we can make enough income from our general public classes, memberships and happiness at work programs, we will offer free or donation-based entry to the museum.
Will the museum be free for members to visit?
Yes! If you've bought annual membership, you can visit the museum during our opening hours. We have decided what they will be as it depends on when the space will be used by different teachers to offer their wellbeing classes.
How can I volunteer?
If you go to our website, MuseumofHappiness.org, there's a space to apply to volunteer. Thanks! That's so nice of you.
How can I start my own Museum of Happiness?
One way is to get our full-sized Museum of Happiness in a box for your organisation. You can see it in the rewards. But beyond that, if you want to start an official proper Museum of Happiness in your area or country with our ethos and brand and support, get in touch and we'll have a Skype call once this campaign is over to discuss.
Who are your partners?
The following organisation have helped us in this campaign and we're very grateful for their support:
Action for Happiness, Awake Academy, Network of Wellbeing, GNH Centre Bhutan, Happy Startup Summer School.