Life can get hard, and when you need a respite, The Canvas is just the place…

Sometimes, things can get a little much. We need somewhere to go to relax, to cheer ourselves up, and to forget any hardships and stresses. And this is where London’s ‘Happy Cafe’ comes in. Named the Canvas, the brand new cafe and creative venue is a space for the people of London to explore what matters for a happy and meaningful life.
A survey conducted last year found that only 30% of Londoners rated themselves as very happy in 2013/2014 with lower personal well-being on average than the rest of the UK.

The Canvas Cafe London

The Canvas has teamed up with Action for Happiness to host events and workshops aimed at improving confidence, self-esteem and well-being in the capital.

Situated in quirky Shoreditch at Hanbury Street, the cafe’s opening is celebrated with a whole host of special events, including lunchtime inspirational TED talks on Tuesdays, the launch of weekly lunchtime yoga classes on Wednesdays, free weekend screenings of documentaries focused on happiness and wellbeing in the Canvas’ basement cinema, a free ‘Happiness Boosters’ workshop run by charity Inner Space, and the announcement of an 8-week course in happiness commencing this month.

The Canvas was founded in October last year by Ruth Rogers, an actress and puppeteer and the founder of body gossip, a charity which aims to promote positive body image.

The venue is an innovative space to relax, unwind and distress without it feeling like attending a therapy or self-help group. It’s healing in a positive way. Other services which are offered include a drop-in chior, body confidence classes and relaxation workshops as well as the chance to become part of an ever evolving part of live art by being invited to contribute to the positive messages and memories scribed across every wall.

The Canvas has now cemented its commitment to improving the happiness of its community by joining the Happy Café Network, set up by members of Action for Happiness, an international movement for positive social change. The first Happy Café was launched in Brighton in October 2014, and the charity hopes the model will help foster supportive communities and positive action in towns and cities across the UK.

Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness said, “We are delighted that The Canvas has agreed to become London’s first Happy Café. Ruth and her team have created a welcoming, friendly space for people to come together to take positive action and improve their emotional well-being.”

Ruth Rogers, founder of Body Gossip and The Canvas said, “When launching The Canvas, as with Body Gossip, I had one aim; to make people feel better about themselves. That’s the motivation behind everything we do at The Canvas. To be welcomed by Action for Happiness as London’s first Happy Cafe is amazing.”

The Canvas is supported by Investec as part of its Beyond Business Programme in partnership with Bromley by Bow Centre. Beyond Business is a dynamic regeneration programme that launches and incubates social enterprises from budding entrepreneurs in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham.

The Canvas
42 Hanbury St
E1 5JL

Statistics from:
ONS National Well-being measures September 2014 release
ONS Measuring National Well-being 2013/2014


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