top of page

The Wellbeing 9-a-Day & The National Lottery Community Fund


Hello, I’m Ben Elliott!

You may remember me from classic gameshow appearances on Pointless, Countdown and The Chase, all while wearing the exact same shirt. When I am not busy being a self-proclaimed gameshow legend, I run Unreal Ideal, a North-East based writing and media consultancy that specialises in wellbeing and education, particularly projects with a social conscience.


One of our major projects is The Wellbeing 9-a-Day, an innovative wellness journal that we developed for Live Well with Cancer, a local charity founded by Maureen Elliott (the number one cancer nurse in the Newcastle, in my personal opinion, though I may be biased as she also happens to be my lovely and inspirational mother). With her wonderful team of volunteers, Maureen has built invaluable services that empowers anyone affected by cancer in North Tyneside, the surrounding areas, and beyond to improve their wellbeing.


The journals offer users a framework that they personalise to their own wants and needs as they build good habits that improve their health. Our initial trials have been very positive, with dozens benefitting from this new tool, whilst offering us invaluable feedback to help us develop and improve it. Followers of Live Well with Cancer might have even seen some of the blogs that I wrote earlier this year as part of a 90-day fundraiser I completed. If not, allow me to tell you the story of The Wellbeing 9-a-Day.


 

Creating the Wellbeing 9-a-Day


I began developing the concept shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic. After putting on a few pounds and picking up some bad habits during lockdown, I set about creating a system that I could use to improve my health and wellbeing. Working with Jervie Ellamil and Jonny Ellis, we identified nine habits that lie at the core of a healthy lifestyle, and then we began developing a journal.


The Wellbeing 9-a-Day is best understood as three distinct groups that focus on your journey in life, your fitness for that journey, and your relationships along the way.

YOUR JOURNEY

Let Go

Releasing the past

​Be Mindful

Connecting with the present

Set Intentions

Aiming for a better future

YOUR FITNESS

Learn

Expanding your mind

Move

Exercising your body

Appreciate

Engaging positive emotions

YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Nourish

Consuming healthy food/drink

Connect

Building better relationships

Self-care

Caring for yourself

United in our desire to help people improve their wellbeing, we self-published a 90-day version of the journal in partnership with Live Well with Cancer with the view of trialling it with volunteers. Whilst developing the concept, I personally benefitted immensely by using the journal to stop smoking, learn to drive, and move in with my girlfriend, to name just a few lifechanging events. Though I had learned how I liked to use it, we knew from the outset that we would need funding to trial it with volunteers from our cancer community. Little did we know then that an email from the National Lottery Community Fund would make our dreams come true.



Trialling the Wellbeing 9-a-Day


I pride myself on my ability to fill in an application form. I even wrote a book about it – The Art of Applying: How to Become a Game Show Legend. More importantly, I have been able to put those skills to good use to help Live Well with Cancer gain funding for their much-needed work.


“While I had always been pleased when Live Well with Cancer received funding, the good news hit differently when I learned that the Wellbeing 9-a-Day had been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.”


In the past, I was pleased for my mam and her wonderful team and delighted that I had filled in application forms well enough to get a “yes” from our brilliant funders. But with the Wellbeing 9-a-Day, I had received validation that an idea that I knew (in my heart of hearts) could help countless people build positive habits and live more conscious lives.


It was amazing to see our project backed by such an amazing supporter of the third sector as the National Lottery Community Fund. With the £7,440 to help our cancer community, we hosted in-person and online workshops and support groups and received user feedback from our wonderful volunteers who were trialling the journal. We were delighted to see it being trialled within the NHS too, where it helps patients and healthcare professionals to improve their health and wellbeing.



As part of the launch campaign, I decided it was a good idea to write a daily blog for each of the 90 days I would be using the journal. There was no downside to this, I thought, as I would be exploring and promoting the concept while raising much needed funds for Live Well with Cancer. In my naïve optimism, I failed to consider the extra work that writing at least five hundred words a day would give me, in addition to the thousands I was already writing as part of my day job. The plate quickly became pretty full. Captain Hindsight soon taught me that I had overcommitted to the fundraiser, but it was too late for me to go back. The result was a series of blogs that explored the Wellbeing 9-a-Day, shared some of my stories from my past, and raised £1,000 for Live Well with Cancer.


Only as I write this blog now do I realise the progress that I made as a writer of blogs during those seemingly interminable 90 days. Learning is about repetition, and the fundraiser forced me to do 90 repetitions that have since improved me as a writer of blogs, just as I had worked to improve myself as a man, partner, son, brother, uncle, friend, and gameshow legend. Now two days into my 30-day version of The Wellbeing 9-a-Day, something I am very excited to share with you all, I have retained many of the good habits that I built earlier in the year, while also adding new and better ways to improve my overall wellbeing.




Living Well with the Wellbeing 9-a-Day


As we come to the end of our initial trial, we are now ready to test The Wellbeing 9-a-Day, a new and improved 30-day version. The new book once again places the power in the hands of the user as they create holistic and lasting change to their wellbeing. The feedback we received during our in-person and online sessions helped us create a lifechanging tool and an everyday companion for people looking to reduce their suffering and/or increase their enjoyment of life.


“None of this would have been possible without the generosity and support of the National Lottery Community Fund.”

As we enter the next phase of the project, we aim to broaden our initial trials with the NHS to prove the efficacy of the concept, both with patients and healthcare professionals. Copies of The Wellbeing 9-a-Day will be trialled with patients and their families and friends, including being sent to all newly diagnosed cancer patients in North Tyneside.


As part of our vision for better living, we aim to produce a series of Wellbeing 9-a-Day eLearning courses that will empower users to make the most of this innovative and holistic approach to wellbeing, wherever they are in the world. We are also keen to develop a children’s version to encourage beginners of all ages to build positive habits.


When we have settled on a publisher, we will make the books available for sale to raise much needed funds for Live Well with Cancer. I am delighted to write that my mam’s growing charity has just moved into its new premises on Nile Street in North Shields, North Tyneside. We will soon be opening the downstairs café, while the upstairs hub will be ready to support our cancer community in the coming weeks and months.


“You can support Live Well with Cancer’s renovation campaign here.

The Wellbeing 9-a-Day is an idea with great potential, and we are so grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for funding our workshops and support groups. We are excited for what the future holds and grateful for the faith and backing that has helped us turn a good idea into a brilliant journal. This and our other projects will help people improve their wellbeing now and into the future, and we are grateful for that opportunity.



The Wellbeing 9-a-Day is an idea with great potential, and we are so grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for funding our workshops and support groups. We are excited for what the future holds and grateful for the faith and backing that has helped us turn a good idea into a brilliant journal. This and our other projects will help people improve their wellbeing now and into the future, and we are grateful for that opportunity.


Thank you, #NationalLottery






Twitter: @TNLComFund

Facebook: @TNLCommunityFund

Instagram: @TNLCommunityFund

LinkedIn: The National Lottery Community Fund

72 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page