Helping you take the first step on your journey back to work

If you’re thinking about returning to work after being unemployed for longer than 12 months and feel like you need some support then an Essex based project could be just what you need. HeadsUp is a free programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund and is designed to help people who have a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression find and maintain work after a period of long-term unemployment.

Rachel Jennings, HeadsUp Programme Manager said: “We believe that being in work can give you some amazing benefits such as a boost in self-confidence, an opportunity to make new friends and the chance to learn new skills. We know the first step can be daunting but we’re here to give you the support and confidence to make some really positive changes to your life.”

People wishing to take part will be matched with a peer support worker - someone who has been in a similar situation and have returned to work - who will help you to improve the practical skills you need to help you find a job such as writing a great CV or practicing interview techniques. As well as the practical stuff, the programme also places a great deal of emphasis on exploring and dealing with the emotional barriers that could be standing in your way of returning to work. Through a series of interactive workshops you’ll identify these barriers and find ways to boost your self-confidence, take charge of your well-being and learn tricks to increase your personal resilience.

Participants who have taken part in the workshops so far have found them ‘uplifting’ and ‘fun’. A HeadsUp peer support worker said their participants had “gained a great deal of confidence in their ability to apply for jobs and they can now identify their strengths and know how to develop themselves further.”

The support you receive will last for as long as you need it, even once you’ve found a job. You can move through the programme at a pace that suits you and be confident that you’ll be supported all the way through by your peer support worker.

If you’re ready to make some positive changes to your life and take the first step on your journey back to work then visit to find out where you can access the programme in your local area. You can also follow the programme on social media @HeadsUpEssex.

You can also find out more by watching the HeadsUp promo video -

The Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded £583 million and supported around 12,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.

For more information visit

HeadsUp has received up to £1.8m of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.

For more information visit

Enable East

Enable East is an award winning, innovative, forward thinking and above all unique independent business unit that operates a part of an NHS Foundation Trust offering cost effective support, services and training to other organisations on a flexible basis. Over the last five years we have worked with a huge range of statutory, non-statutory organisations, charities and other private and not for profit enterprises as well as delivering two Big Lottery Funded well-being portfolios totalling over £6 million which have provided initiatives promoting well-being to thousands of people in the East of England, the North East and the Midlands. For more information visit

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