A new course in happiness, backed by the Dalai Lama, will take place at The Assembly Rooms, Bridport, from Wednesday, February 19.

Exploring What Matters aims to help people discover how to live a kinder and happier life. The secular, science-based course has been developed by Action for Happiness, a UK-based movement with more than 100,000 members taking action to create a happier world.

The Dalai Lama said: "As patron of Action for Happiness, I wholeheartedly support the Exploring What Matters course and hope that many thousands of people will benefit from it and be inspired to take their own action to help create a happier world."

Director of the movement, Dr Mark Williamson, added: "We are bombarded with false messages about what makes for a happy life. The Exploring What Matters course helps people discover for themselves that real success has much less to do with what we earn or consume - and much more to do with our inner attitudes, our relationships with others and our contribution to society."

Each session of the eight-week course will explore one big question, with topics including dealing with adversity, having good relationships, caring for others, and creating happier workplaces and communities.

The course is delivered by community volunteers, with materials and support provided by Action for Happiness.

Leading the course in Bridport is Xabi Gawler, peer specialist from The Harmony Drop in Centre and The Bridport Community Front Room.

He said: "I’m very excited to be running this course because I am so passionate about our wonderful local community, I am looking forward to sharing some thoughts and ideas on how we can make Bridport an even happier, kinder place to live."

Analysis of the course has found that it leaves people both happier and more pro-social, with participants reporting increases in levels of life satisfaction, mental wellbeing, compassion and trust.

Participants are asked to make a donation to attend, with a recommended weekly donation of £10. This is optional and participants are able to choose what they give, so that the course remains open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

To find out more, contact xabi.g@harmonydropin.org.uk or visit www.actionforhappiness.org/course. Places are available to book via Eventbrite.