Friday, 26 August 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
After all the horrors of the UK riots this summer, one of the things that came up from all this was much discussion about why this happened and what had caused so many young people to behave in such a way. Some of the major conclusions were that many of todays UK young people feel bored, alienated, ignored and disenfranchised caused by a combination of mass unemployment, lack of hope, poor education and unrealistic expectations created by todays materialistic society and narcissistic media "role models".
But what can be done to turn this around and help give our young people a better life now as well as a better future? The Happy Zone was set up to always focus on the positive so we have come up with an idea that we think can help solve many of these issues.
Introduce one year compulsory national community service for all 16/17 year olds. Controversial? Maybe, but listen to our reasons why and exactly how it should be run...
- Running from September 1st to July 31st the following year, for all 16 year olds. Any 16 year olds who aren't able to take part will be able to join the programme the following year as a 17 year old with one or two exemptions.
- Exemptions would include all those in full-time work, full-time education or who are volunteering full-time (a minimum of 30 hours per week).
- The focus would be on community, society, volunteering, health and the environment.
- Daily mindfullness meditation every morning.
- Daily exercise.
- Volunteer work throughout the community (at least 3 days per week) - charity fund-raising, picking up rubbish, helping old people, working in charity shops, community projects, conservation projects etc.
- Classes on how to get a job, CV writing, reading and writing skills, entrepeneurial and business skills, cooking, health and nutrition, recycling and the environment.
- No drinking or drug taking allowed and no smoking on building premises.
- Each community service centre would have its own allotment and kitchens to allow the young people to grow and cook their own food.
- Each center would recycle extensively.
- Regular visits and talks from inspirational role models including successful business people, celebrities and sports stars.
Think this is a good idea? Then please sign our HM Government e-petition here.
If we can get 100,000 or more signatures then it would have to be discussed in parliament so please sign today and make a better Britain a reality.
Sign our petition.
Do you have any ideas as to how this could work and what else the NATIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE could include? Just leave your comments below, visit our Facebook Page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Here at The Happy Zone we are always looking at the different places that make us happy and enjoy sharing these places with you! Today we wanted to make you aware of one of our favourite places in Brighton, East Sussex. Over the last year we have discovered Brighton Farm Market, a fabulous farmers market hidden away in the bohemian North Laines.
Open every Saturday and now also Fridays 9:30am - 4:30pm, you will find a whole host of varied traders selling everything from organic cheeses, local honey, gorgeous home-made cakes, fruit and veg to fresh fish and home-made pies! The quality is exceptional and the traders themselves are friendly, chatty and knowledgeable. At the back of the market is the Farm Kitchen, where customers can enjoy a field-reared hog-roast every Saturday or just a nice cup of tea.
If you are a real foodie then it's worth checking this place out as soon as possible. There is even a craft market held there two Sundays a month. If you're a trader and want to get in touch with the guys that run the market why not head over to their website now for contact details. They are particularly looking for stalls for Fridays at the moment as Saturdays are already incredibly busy!
Friday, 12 August 2011
Thursday, 11 August 2011
As we at The Happy Zone always look on the more positive and happier side of life, we thought we'd take another look at the UK riots and try to come up with some positive actions and solutions which may prevent this from happening again. Please let us know of any ideas and happy thoughts you have concerning this, any uplifting stories you may have heard or organisations that you recommend which are already doing good work either with young people in general or in helping with the clean-up campaigns.
- Help Britain's young people learn to love their neighbourhood and local communities.
- If you have spare time on your hands, or don't work at the moment then organise or take part in a local community group aimed at local youths. It doesn't always take loads of money, just a bunch of willing volunteers who are able to give their time and skills.
- Celebrities - Young people today look up to and try to emulate their favourite celebrities, pop stars, rap artists and sports men and women. These famous (and often wealthy) stars need to put themselves out there as role models by getting their hands dirty; helping the riot clean-up wombles, giving their time to local youth projects and visiting schools and youth clubs to talk to, help and motivate teenagers.
- On a much bigger scale, projects funded by the banks and huge corporations such as the major supermarkets should be encouraged and put into action. What about funding local community parks and gardens in the most deprived areas? These could be designed, looked after and tended to by local teenagers.
- Other potential projects could include "keep Britain tidy" groups which would regularly go out into the local community and pick up litter, repair broken fences, paint over graffitti and generally look after the local area.
- Young people should be allowed to go on some patrols with local police officers to see the kinds of trouble the police have to deal with on a daily basis.
- Recycling - local entrepeneurs and small businesses could help young people set up their own businesses using recycled goods and rubbish, thus helping the environment at the same time.
- Councils should allow organised groups to use the many empty, abandoned and boarded up shops on our high streets free of charge. These could be utilised by youth groups, art projects and small start-up businesses and shops run by young people.
- Regenerate our local high streets. Ok, so we're in the middle of a deep recession which means many shops are closing down and no-one has any money to spend. However, our high streets can still be buzzing, thriving areas full of cheap and free activities and fun things to do. It just takes the right people to organise things alongside support from local councils as well as local shops and businesses.
- Parental responsibilities - parents totally need to take responsibility for their children, particularly those aged 16 and under. They need to know exactly where their kids are at all times and keep constant checks on their whereabouts.
- Curfews - it maybe a good idea to have a 9pm curfew for anyone aged 16 or under for the next three to six months until things have settled down. It could potentially make britain's streets a little safer at night.
- Education - All schools should have compulsory lessons in the following for all children aged 5 upwards : recycling, manners, "keep britain tidy", looking after the environment, self-esteem, healthy eating, growing your own fruit and vegetables, sustainable living.
- Television and media need to take more responsibility for all the junk and bad "role models" they shove down our kids throats on a daily basis. More TV shows based around helping others, self-esteem, recycling, the environment, how to better yourself and less TOWIE, Geordie Shores, Big Brother and the like.
So some of this may seem to be pie in the sky but just remember that nothing is impossible if enough people pull together and believe in themselves and the greater good. Please add your own constructive ideas below or on our Facebook page. Stay happy!
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
We at The Happy Zone blog always concentrate on positive, happy and life-affirming stories, news and ideas. Now that London and the rest of the UK has been hit by violent riots, looting, mayhem and arson for the last three days we want to take a look at how we can all help to make things better both in the short and long-term.
We are not a political or religious site but do believe that by everyone pulling together no matter what they believe in we can all help build a better community for all. We welcome your positive comments, ideas and stories so please post in the comment box below or on the Happy Zone Facebook page.
The picture above is actually of those wonderful people who have already become known as the Riot Wombles on Twitter who are banding together to help clean up all the areas of London affected by the riots. If you want to help then you can follow @Riotcleanup on Twitter or go to their website.
Long-term solutions to stop this happening should all involve ways of helping people, particularly young people to learn to love and respect their local communities. This needs to come from schools, parents and the communities themselves in equal measure. Please contact us with positive ideas on how everyone can help rebuild these shattered communities and restore pride and self-esteem in our youth.