Who are the UK’s happiest people and workplaces?


The search has begun to find the happiest people and places in the UK with the launch of this year’s National Happiness Awards.


The ground-breaking scheme aims to identify and reward individuals, businesses and organisations in the UK improving lives with happiness. It recognises excellence in workplace wellbeing and positive mental health initiatives.


Nominations are invited from the business, charity and public sectors for the categories of Happiest Workplace, Happiest Workplace Person and Happiest Team.


The awards are now in their third year and have developed a reputation as the nation’s brightest and boldest award scheme. They have grown in size and influence consistently, attracting several hundred nominees each year. Fomer winners include Virgin Active and Burges Salmon. They are the brainchild of Laughology, a progressive consultancy and learning and development organisation.


Organisations are increasingly recognising the value of creating happy workplaces where employees are supported and developed. Happy employees are healthier, more engaged and more productive and the National Happiness Awards recognise the UK’s most progressive initiatives and leaders, as well as the individuals who go above and beyond to make life happier for their colleagues.


National Happiness Awards founder Stephanie Davies said: “Happiness is a vital element of any people-focused organisation and in many ways, it is more important than financial benefits because it is sustainable, it improves mental health and wellbeing and it promotes long-term growth and development.”


An Investors in People survey earlier this year found that happiness in the workplace had improved over the preceding year, yet there is still a way to go in Britain as businesses continue to struggle to recruit and retain the right people and have seen a steady rise in resignations since 2012.


Each National Happiness Awards category will be judged by an independent panel which includes business experts, HR professionals, education specialists and psychologists. Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in November.


The business awards Gold sponsor is Lace Partners and the silver sponsor is Simply Better Events. Venue sponsor The Landing will host the award ceremony at MediaCityUK, Manchester. The event will raise money for Children in Need and the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.


Ms Davies concludes: “Increasingly organisations are realising how important it is to do things differently and to use happiness and humour in the workplace to make lives better for their people. Happiness makes people healthier, more resilient, more productive and it promotes positive relationships and creativity.”


To submit a nomination, go to






Auto Trader’s research shows that many drivers are looking to move away from petrol and diesel cars but lack of charging infrastructure and confusing terminology remain significant barriers to electric car adoption amongst UK drivers.

Drivers say they will wait an average of nine years to buy an electric car
Drivers are split as to whether the proposed 2040 ban is a positive thing - with 40% each in favour and against
74% did not know that the government offers plug-in grants for buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles

With the long-awaited publication of the Government’s Road to Zero report last month, new research carried out by the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace, Auto Trader, indicates that many consumers (38%) remain unaware of policy regarding electric cars and believe the government’s goal for at least 50% of new cars sold to be electric by 2030 is unrealistic.

Drivers said that they’ll wait nine years before they will buy an electric or hybrid vehicle, with lack of charging infrastructure and upfront expense cited as the most common impediments, even though research indicates that electric cars cost less over four years. With drivers changing cars on average every 2-3 years, this means that they will likely purchase three cars before buying an EV. Only 26% would consider electric for their next car, the same percentage as when Auto Trader surveyed consumers in March 2017.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low says: “Drivers making the switch are already reaping the benefits. EVs can be driven for as little as 2p per mile, compared with 10-12p for a conventionally powered vehicle, meaning the typical car owner can save hundreds of pounds every year in fuel costs alone. There are also additional savings such as tax benefits and reduced servicing and maintenance costs.

“Although charging is one of the biggest barriers to mass consumer uptake, almost half of motorists drive less than 15 miles a day, while 98% said they travel less than 100 – well within the range of pure electric vehicles and easily achievable in a plug-in hybrid. What’s more, charging data also shows more than 90% of all EV charging takes place at home, bringing added convenience for drivers.”

In general, consumers are increasingly mindful of the environmental impact of cars, with 56% of respondents saying that they care more about fuel types than they did 12 months ago. Negative press around diesel cars has impacted their appeal amongst consumers, with half (52%) of those surveyed admitting that news reports have made them more likely to consider purchasing an alternative fuel car, including electric. This is supported by consumers performing less searches for diesel cars and more for alternative fuel types (AFVs) on Auto Trader’s marketplace – diesel now only accounts for 47% of searches as of June 2018, down from its peak of 72% in June 2016, and interest in AFVs has grown from 2% to 4% over the same time period.

So, what is needed to persuade consumers to make the switch to electric? Drivers are split as to whether the proposed ban is a positive thing - with 40% for and against a ban. And it seems existing government incentives aren’t helping buyers to make the switch either as 74% of those surveyed did not know that the government offers plug-in grants for buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles. In addition to upscaling public charging infrastructure, there needs to be a clear roadmap outlined by the government and industry leaders to reassure consumers. The fact that drivers are prepared to wait almost a decade suggests many are holding out for greater technological capabilities, including increased mileage per charge and more efficient batteries. Auto Trader’s findings also reveal that the terminology surrounding electric vehicles, which 55% describe as ‘confusing’, is another obstacle.

Auto Trader’s Editorial Director, Erin Baker, says of the findings: “There’s no doubt that electric vehicles are the future, however, our research indicates that there are still significant barriers to adoption, with greater investment in infrastructure and technology needed. It’s also crucial that car manufacturers and the government alike ensure that language to describe electric cars is clear and accessible, rather than laden with technological jargon that consumers may find alienating.”

Car makers praised for recognising those who served

The UK’s car makers have been praised for recognising the contribution of those who have served their country in the armed forces.

Most major motor manufacturers have generously agreed to offer special discounts to current and retired military personnel and their family in acknowledgment of their service.

Steve Thornton, Managing Director of Forces Cars Direct, today commended the altruistic principle behind these schemes and said that because the concessions are offered discreetly, the car giants do not get the credit they deserve.

As an ex-serviceman himself - having served in the Army for five years, including a tour in Iraq  - Steve is particularly touched by the fact that car manufacturers are willing to offer discounts to those who have given exceptional service.

“When we speak to these manufacturers to broker deals, it’s really heart-warming to know that they care about the individual buying the car,” Steve says, “It’s tempting, I think, for some people to see car giants as just like other corporations, but the fact is that they are made up of people who are happy to recognise the good work done by others. It makes my job extremely rewarding: I get to see both sides - people’s generosity and the impact it has for customers. These schemes aren’t well known, because the companies haven’t been bragging about their good work.”

In the US such schemes are common and they are gaining more traction in the UK, with the car industry leading the way. Forces Cars Direct is the UK’s biggest broker of bespoke car deals, supplying more than 20,000 cars to people from the Army, Navy, Royal Airforce and MOD.

A spokesperson for the SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said: “We can best serve our veterans by working together; that’s why we partner with companies such as Forces Cars Direct. Any scheme going the extra mile for those who have served makes a real difference to the community. Our most recent research report, The Nation’s Duty, highlights the need for better financial planning and guidance for those serving and leaving the Forces – discounts are a great way for external companies to show their support for this idea.”

Please call Malcolm Munro on 07795013006 to interview Steve Thornton about these deals or commentary on the UK car industry.

The website for more details is




Ofgem has updated the level of the safeguard tariff, which protects 5 million households from being overcharged, based on the latest estimated costs of supplying energy.

From October 1, the level of the safeguard tariff will rise by £47 per year for dual fuel customers to £1,136.

Ofgem is currently working to put in place a price cap for the remaining estimated 11 million households on poor value default tariffs by the end of the year following publication of a statutory consultation later this month.

The main driver of higher wholesale costs has been in the increase in the global oil price, which has risen by from $50 per barrel to $75 per barrel since this time last year. As the price of the gas Britain imports from Norway and the rest of Europe is linked to the oil price this has pushed up the price of gas which heats our homes and is also used gas fired power stations to provide around 40% of our electricity. In addition to this there have been increases in the cost of carbon trading which again has made the gas and coal we use more expensive.

It is also estimated that the majority of households are not benefiting from the option to switch suppliers.

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Did you know that if you spend £60 or more (until Sunday 26th August) in a single transaction for online groceries or instore you will receive a voucher for 10p a litre for either petrol or diesel to use at the Tesco filling station?

When you've paid for your groceries in-store, your shopping receipt will automatically include a fuel discount coupon. If you're an online customer, you'll receive a leaflet containing the fuel coupon when your groceries are delivered or when you Click+Collect. Please keep this receipt or coupon safe as you'll need it to claim your 10p off per litre on fuel at your local Tesco petrol station.

If you spend instore, your voucher will be valid for 14 days, if you spend online, you'll get your voucher when you get your groceries and it'll be valid until 9 September.

When you go to fill up please remember to take your coupon with you.

Pay for your fuel in the petrol station kiosk and hand over your coupon at the checkout to receive your discount.

T and C's apply



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