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Happy Smiles Training CIC

WIGAN

We provide interactive training workshops, focusing on many aspects of disability awareness and social inclusion. Our training is uniquely facilitated by our Inclusion Champions – young adults who experience disability on a daily basis. We have so far positively impacted over 3500 people in the past two years, delivering training to schools, community groups, businesses and more. 

We also produce children’s books, with the aim of highlighting a range of long-term health conditions and disabilities, including dementia, depression and cerebral palsy. Our first book won an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Hero Award for representing dementia voice and our work has recently been recognised by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Our training has been described as “a new way to see disability” and we have been told that we are “an amazing organisation with true social value and impact”.

Products/Services: Workshops, Children’s Books, Training

Community Badges

Happy Smile's Community Contributions

Donate to Support Happy Smiles Training

You can support Happy Smiles Training. Click the button to to help with:
Marketing & PR for the books and training;
Developing their Social Media presence;
Fundraising towards the purchase of their own accessible vehicle;
Fundraising towards the costs of the books.

Meet The Team

Ryan
Volunteer

I want to help people learn about different disabilities. I like watching football, my favourite team is Man City.

I have Epilepsy but this doesn’t stop me from doing all of my favourite things.

Chloe
Volunteer

I have Cerebral Palsy but this completely doesn’t define me. I do everything to the best of my ability and have different volunteer postions. My aim is to help people talk more about disability and to not see disabled people as inferier.

I love spending time with animals and watching tv programmes about animals.

Haydn
Co-Founder

I’m a super friendly person who likes to spend time with friends and family. Happy Smiles was inspired after I spent a long time in hospital and people sent me pictures of their happy smiles, to keep me smiling.

Alex and I then set up Happy Smiles as a blog, then a training provider, and the rest is history!

My favourite colour is yellow even I don’t eat yellow foods.

Amy
Volunteer

I support Manchester United (for my sins.)

I want people to learn about non-verbal communication.

Anna
Volunteer

My favourite colour is green because it is the awareness colour of my disability, Cerebral Palsy.

I want to use the challenges I face daily to change society’s perception of disabilty. 

Kurt
Volunteer

I am a hard working individual who, in spite of my disability ( Cerebral Palsy) is helping communities to see disability from a different perspective.

I like to watch YouTube, collect The Simpsons merchandise, and read comic books. 

Why Happy Smiles Training Support Their Community

The Give Today team caught up with Alex Winstanley, Managing Director at Happy Smiles Training CIC.

Hi Alex! Could you tell us a bit more about how you came to start Happy Smiles Training?

My background as a teacher and carer for the past ten years meant that I have often seen disabled people undervalued and underrepresented across society. I wanted to change this and so, alongside one of the young men I cared for, Haydn, we set up Happy Smiles Training CIC together in 2019. Haydn inspired the name after spending a lot of time in hospital the year before, when we asked people to send in photos of their ‘happy smiles’ to cheer Haydn up. The name stuck and we began to post video blogs about Haydn’s life, which led to videos with other disabled young adults and then we started to deliver training in my school and with local community groups. This grew to the point where I left my job in 2019 so that we could take our work full-time! You can see more about our work at www.happysmilestraining.co.uk.

What is the best part of your job?

Empowering disabled people to realise their potential and create positive social change. Seeing the impact that our training has on our team who are delivering our training, and our audiences, is priceless. Knowing that, without these opportunities, disabled people would be even more isolated, misunderstood and misrepresented, continues to drive me to make our work as successful as possible. 

You have so far positively impacted over 3,500 people in the past two years – an incredible achievement! What has been your biggest eye opener in those two years?
That you can’t do everything. It’s frustrating when you want to try to make a difference and various obstacles are put in your way, but I am determined to continue to grow our work and creative inclusive communities as far and wide as possible.
You produce a range of incredible books covering a number of topics such as depression, dementia and various other health and physical disabilities. What has been the reception you have received and where can people purchase these books?

The books started when we were initially unable to reach children and young people in schools, due to their impact of Covid-19. I had always wanted to write a children’s book about dementia, inspired by my grandma, and this seemed like the perfect time. We successfully crowdfunded the book and it was released at the end of January 2021. It has since gone on to win an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Hero Award and inspired a series of books on a range of long-term health conditions and disabilities. The second book on depression was even featured on ITV News. Knowing that the books are positively impacting children and families around the world is a feeling that is hard to put into words, but is extremely satisfying. When people get in touch to say how the books have helped them, it means the world!

Here is a link to the books that are currently available on Amazon worldwide.

It’s not just work in schools and with young people, you also do corporate training, could you expand on what a session entails?

We believe that we can improve your local economy by creating increased access to your industry for disabled people. Our training will give you the opportunity to create and sustain an inclusive and accessible workplace, whilst supporting the needs of disabled customers. All of our training is delivered by people with lived experience of disability, so you know that you will receive a true representation of your employees/customers needs and wishes. Our team will use their lived experience to support your organisation to be as inclusive and accessible as possible for all. Not only this, by purchasing training with us, we will be able to offer training to a local school for free!

Different Website - Same Concept!

The Hope Revolution CIC has undergone a rebranding for their donation shops, and you have been automatically re-routed to the new location. 

The items you purchase here are still those needed by your favourite local organisations, and will still be sent directly to them!