Wellbeing and Heritage

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The intriguing link between wellbeing and heritage

“Directly or indirectly, well-being, in some shape or other…is the subject of every thought, and object of every action, on the part of every known Being…nor can any intelligible reason be given for desiring that it should be otherwise.”

– Jeremy Bentham, Chrestomathia (1817)

We specialise in bringing historic and listed buildings back to life, we were pleased to hear that according to recent research by Historic England  living in historic buildings makes you healthier and happier.

What is wellbeing?

‘‘Wellbeing can be understood as how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole.” New Economics

How does heritage impact on our mental health?

  • Historic sites often require volunteers to run. The act of volunteering over time makes us feel happy and fulfilled within ourselves
  • Visiting heritage sites gives us an opportunity to spend time with family and friends whilst being immersed in culture and meeting new people with similar interests
  • We feel pride in the historic buildings in our area, they give us a sense of place e.g. In Exeter our historic buildings such as Exeter Cathedral and Exeter Castle give us a sense of pride where we live

Image result for Exeter Cathedral

The Results

“People who visit heritage sites are happier than those who do not. As noted earlier, between 2010 and 2013, on average, those who had visited a heritage site in the previous 12 months, reported happiness scores 1.6% greater than those who had not.” – Heritage Counts 2016 Report

In summary, heritage sites can help combat issues of isolation, exclusion and lack of identity, by building relationships between people and places.