Happy Days is an event designed to enable people with learning disabilities the opportunity to meet people from health related services at a fun event. Happy Days was held at the Peterborough Town Hall and had over 250 people attend, providing much greater reach than had previously been achieved and allowed the services to better understand their audience.

In 2014, Feel the Force Day worked with Peterborough City Council to bring Happy Days into our Peterborough event. By introducing stands from Happy Days, Feel the Force Day enabled people to access those support services in an environment designed for fun instead of trying to introduce fun in an event designed for health services.

The original idea for this came from a Trustee’s experience of attending fun days with his brother as a child, but still having to deal with the issues a family with a disabled child would, once the fun had ended. The principle was this: a family should be able to visit Feel the Force Day, have a great time and solve a problem without feeling like a burden.

Feel the Force Day 2014 had over 2,500 visitors, 100 volunteers and over 500 costumers attend the event. Happy Days monitored the uptake of services on the day by recording interactions between the stands and visitors in the same way they had at their previous events.

Happy Days discovered over 2,500 interactions throughout the day. Ten times their previous record. Happy Days also recorded services receiving referrals to their service in January 2015, four months later which could be directly attributed to an interaction at Feel the Force Day. This was achieved at no additional cost to Peterborough City Council beyond the standard cost of hosting a Happy Days event.

As a result of the success achieved through the integration between Happy Days and Feel the Force Day, both have been cited as best practice within the Department of Health Report into Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities, which updated on work being done to bring greater health equality to people with learning disabilities.

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