The Happy Bus
by Happy Here CIC
Initially the Happy Bus is a pop-out creative wellbeing cafe, a fun and colourful front to capture people’s imagination and relax their mind when it comes to reaching out to someone for a chat or support to help with wellbeing matters; a service to connect you with inclusive, like minded people, and a place you can be heard with compassion, non- judgement and care.
We want the Happy Bus to bridge the gap between the street and the GP where we offer a simple and friendly chat service to recommend and refer people to the right places that they may need to reach out to... this could be a local charity, support service or help with financial issues.
We provide this outreach service through social prescribing, a non-medical approach to providing wellbeing support. It utilises and encourages people to improve their mental health through identifying and recommending activities and resources based on an individual’s needs, interests, and capability. Then we help them find the opportunity and, with the power of our community, motivate them.
What does the Happy Bus do?
Essentially, the Happy Bus is a pop-out cafe providing delicious local coffee from Lost Sheep Coffee and packaged snacks like croissants and crisps, along with healthy drink choices from our partner FG Factor Drinks and Morrison’s Community Champions who regularly offer us water and snacks for the community. We also sell our Happy Here Handbooks (our creative mindful workbooks), colourful Pride products and pronoun pin badges, hand knitted hearts and bears for comfort, and so much more... We have a dual fuel coffee machine that runs on electric and gas and because we have a solar panel on the roof we can be off road so we don’t have to be plugged in to get power. We did this because we couldn’t really provide an outreach service if we relied on having to find power. This allowed us to be anywhere, and in future when we have more Happy Buses we can provide a better service to people in areas which no one else can get to.
Our bus, which is a high tip Ford Transit, has the ability to fit 4-6 adults or 6 children comfortably (inside) around a work top table with cosy benches, cushions and blankets. The table top doubles as a bed when pushed down. When the doors are closed and the black out curtains cover the roof window and front seat bulk head it becomes a remote sensory room. There are head high cupboards for storage (cushions, blankets and sensory toys) and by your feet, under the benches, there are creative tools and art supplies. We have a full sink which provides cold water (we get hot water from the coffee machine) and a fridge full of drinks and different milks for the coffee and teas.
When the bus is opened up fully it provides two points of access. The first is the sliding side door which gains entry to the coffee machine and sink area and then the back double doors provide a back entrance/exit with a spacial chat area if someone needs to have a more private conversation when the pop-out cafe is open. Our emotional support dog Peter loves to keep visitors company.
There are five different ways we can use the Happy Bus:
As a pop up promotional van to give information on our services and where you can find us.
2. Event Concession Stand
Purely, a pop-out cafe for refreshments for your work or public event.
3. Community Outreach
Available in towns, at markets and community events to provide a chat service and socially prescribe people creative wellbeing help.
4. Private Bookings
We are looking into this but we could definitely be available for private bookings like parties for companies or events.
5. Remote Sensory Room
A remote sensory room to be booked for public events or community companies or charities as an addition to their services.
Please take a look at our Theory Of Change and how Happy Here makes a difference. Click to zoom in :)