Unhappy Londoners now have a place to seek comfort, as London’s first Happy Café launches in East London today.  The Canvas, a brand new café and creative venue on Hanbury Street in Shoreditch, is the first to be supported by Action for Happiness as a space for the people of London to explore what matters for a happy and meaningful life.

Today’s launch is being celebrated with a special season of events, including lunchtime inspirational TED Talks on Tuesdays; the launch of weekly lunchtime yoga classes on Wednesdays; free weekend screenings of documentaries focusing on happiness and well-being including ‘Happy’ and ‘I Am’ in The Canvas’ basement cinema; a free ‘Happiness Boosters’ workshop run by the charity Inner Space, and the announcement of an 8-week course in Happiness, commencing this month at The Canvas, and run by Action for Happiness.

The Canvas was founded in October last year by Ruth Rogers, an actress and puppeteer, and founder of Body Gossip, the award-winning positive body image charity. A café, workshop and creative space, The Canvas offers daily events to inspire self-expression, happiness and positive thinking including a drop-in choir, body confidence classes and relaxation workshops. Visitors also have the chance to become part of an ever-evolving piece of live art by being invited to contribute to the positive messages and memories scribed across every wall.

The Canvas has now cemented its commitment to improving the happiness of its community by joining the Happy Café Network, set up by members of Action for Happiness, an international movement for positive social change. The first Happy Café was launched in Brighton in October 2014, and the charity hopes the model will help foster supportive communities and positive action in towns and cities across the UK.

Ruth Rogers, founder of Body Gossip and The Canvas said, “When launching The Canvas, as with Body Gossip, I had one aim; to make people feel better about themselves. That’s the motivation behind everything we do at The Canvas. To be welcomed by Action for Happiness as London’s first Happy Cafe is amazing.”

The Canvas is supported by Investec as part of its Beyond Business Programme in partnership with Bromley by Bow Centre. Beyond Business is a dynamic regeneration programme that launches and incubates social enterprises from budding entrepreneurs in Tower Hamlets, Hackey and Newham.

Full details of the events surrounding the launch can be found at www.thecanvascafe.org