For the second year running, here at the Network of Wellbeing (NOW) we celebrated International Day of Happiness at our monthly Totnes Community Potluck, in Devon, UK. Almost 200 people attended the event this year, bringing end-of-week good moods and delicious dishes to share.

The Potluck offered a fantastic opportunity to celebrate joy and happiness with others in the local community. The event was kicked off with a reminder that the act of sharing food has nurtured people for millennia and enables connection with others in a way that strengthens community, acknowledges interdependence and celebrates diversity.  Attendees were encouraged to not only talk to old friends, but to make some new ones too.

Sharing Smiles

After feasting on nourishing food and making meaningful connections, there were special guest performances. Mayor of Totnes, Jacqi Hodgson, lifted spirits even higher by encouraging everyone to give each other cheeky grins – it’s amazing what the simple act of smiling can do!

Local poet Matt Harvey (pictured right) had the room in giggles with his witty poems, and he also inspired people to enter a light-hearted Happiness Haiku competition, the winners of which have now been announced on our blog.

Chatter and laughter ceased only briefly when winner of Totnes’ Got Talent, Anna Bennett, dazzled attendees with her beautiful music and singer-songwriting skills.

From Hungry Gap to Wild Abundance

It was one of those events where people didn’t want to leave and were heartened to hear that next month’s Community Potluck would be another celebration, this time in the name of wild food and the transition from ‘Hungry Gap to Wild Abundance’. This event will be held on Friday, 15th April, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm in Totnes Civic Hall, and people are invited to bring food (preferably wild food inspired) to share.

There will also be a wild food foraging walk in Totnes on Wednesday, 13th April, from 12.00 until 2.00pm, meeting in front of St. Mary’s Church on Totnes High Street. This event will be led by Larch Maxey from NOW and Myrtle Cooper from Wild & Curious, and people will be encouraged to forage for ingredients that can be turned into wild inspired dishes that they can bring to the next Potluck supper on Friday 15th April.

After a week where it seemed like the long, wet winter might finally be coming to an end, we closed our special International Day of Happiness Potluck with a wonderful sense that spring and growth is just around the corner, and the air will soon be filled with the delicious scents of flowers and herbs. We look forward to seeing those who can make it to our next Totnes Community Potluck!

Run a Potluck in Your Community

If you are inspired by the idea of the  Community Potlucks, but unable to attend our regular events in Totnes, then perhaps you would like to run your own Community Potluck where you are based? If this is of interest, then check out these Community Potluck Guidelines, which provide you with all of the information and inspiration needed to run this community event!

We will also be happy to speak with you about our experiences of this event, and provide any guidance that may be helpful. So, if you are thinking of running your own Community Potluck please get in touch.

Celebrating Happiness

Our celebrations of International Day of Happiness also included a blog and video series on happiness habits, featuring the Gross National Happiness Centre, mindfulness teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo, positive psychologist Miriam Akhtar, happiness author Gretchen Rubin and more! You can check out highlights from the series here.