Spirit of 2012 has announced the appointment of further organisations that will work with the organisation to integrate and build on its evidence base.

Pro Bono Economics and The What Works Centre for Wellbeing will mine Spirit’s extensive library of evidence to draw out new learning and ensure a lasting legacy for ten years’ of wellbeing impacts. The first project, led by the What Works Centre, brings together evidence from project case studies to draw out ‘how’ and ‘why’ activities support wellbeing, using synthesis methodology.

With Spirit of 2012 scheduled to spend out and close in 2026, the official legacy funder of the London 2012 Games sought out “legacy learning partner” organisations who strongly aligned with Spirit’s purpose and impact areas with which to share the learning and insights they have gathered over ten years. The first of these – Belong – The Cohesion and Integration Network – was appointed in January.

Pro Bono Economics will join Belong as Spirit’s second legacy learning partner, applying a cost-effectiveness methodology to calculate the wellbeing value of Spirit’s investment. As well as helping to draw out the ‘golden thread’ that links effective wellbeing projects together, they will support funders and policy makers to use these approaches to understand the wellbeing impacts of project funding, taking the baton from the What Works Centre, following its planned closure in April 2024.

Ruth Hollis, Chief Executive, Spirit of 2012 said:

“We are excited to be working on this last project with What Works Centre for Wellbeing before they close in April. Pro Bono Economics is an excellent organisation well placed to take on the legacy of both Spirit and the What Works Centre. We strongly believe our wealth of wellbeing insights will be in good hands and can’t wait to welcome them as our new learning partner.”


Nancy Hey, Executive Director, What Works Centre for Wellbeing said: “As a collaborating Centre, we’re delighted to contribute to establishing Spirit of 2012’s legacy of learning, translating evidence into practice and furthering our understanding of wellbeing evaluation and impact. There is a wealth of hidden knowledge in Spirit’s evidence library which our new methods can help uncover.”

Jon Franklin, Chief Economist at Pro Bono Economics said: “With around half a million people across the UK experiencing very poor personal wellbeing at any one time, understanding what interventions make the biggest difference to happiness, satisfaction and anxiety is critical. We’re very pleased to be joining forces with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and Spirit of 2012 to help uncover the wellbeing benefits individuals derive from engaging in sports, arts, volunteering, and social action projects. By understanding these outcomes, we can shape policies and programs that foster healthier, more vibrant communities for all.”