The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues in the School of Education, University of Birmingham held an event to cerebrate World Gratitude Day on Friday 19 September in Victoria Square, Birmingham.

The event was designed to get children and adults to think about the concept of gratitude and who or what in their lives they may be grateful to or for. Each person had the opportunity to write a letter, draw a picture or write a message to show who or what they are grateful to or for and why, with contributions forming ‘walls of gratitude’.

In addition, there were face painting opportunities, as well as local performers including a steel band and circus acts. Some of the ‘Thank You Films’ which were made by school children around the country were also screened.

The event was run in collaboration with Hark Pictures, a Birmingham-based film company commissioned to film a documentary about ‘Gratitude Britain’ for the Jubilee Centre. The event will feature in the documentary to highlight the general public’s attitude to gratitude. The film is being made to highlight the work of the Jubilee Centre through one of its flagship projects, ‘An Attitude for Gratitude’.

World Gratitude Day began in 1965 in Hawaii to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found in the world. Following the meeting in Hawaii, many attendees at the first meeting marked Gratitude Day on 21 September 1966 in their home countries. Since then, the number of people celebrating Gratitude Day across the world has grown.

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is a pioneering interdisciplinary academic research centre based at the University of Birmingham focusing on character, virtues and values in the interest of human flourishing. The centre promotes a moral concept of character in order to explore the importance of virtue in public and professional life.

The centre is a leading informant on policy and practice in this area and through its extensive range of projects contributes to a renewal of character and values in both individuals and societies.

For further details, please contact centre manager Aidan Thompson at or on 0121 414 3602.