New faces increase the reach of HeadsUp across North and West Essex

The HeadsUp EPUT (Essex Partnerships University Foundation Trust) team welcomed a new Project Coordinator and new Peer Support Worker in recent weeks which means lots of new ideas and contacts to ensure that as many people as possible can access the support offered by the HeadsUp programme.

Colleagues have already attended the Tendring Mental Health Hub and talked to other organisations that support members of the community who have experienced common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. They shared information abut how HeadsUp could work with people who are unemployed through 1 to 1 Peer Support, Workshops and Employer Engagement helping them get back to work when they feel ready.

Upcoming networking opportunities include a ‘Speed dating’ style promotion event and an ongoing fixture to talk with EPUT recovery teams working on the ‘Moving on and Staying Well’ courses that offer support to individuals leaving secondary care. These are both excellent opportunities to share the support available through HeadsUp with people who might benefit from it.

The hard work is paying off as the team engaged 11 new participants in the programme in January which is fantastic news!

HeadsUp Open Day in Tendring

Signpost is our HeadsUp delivery partner based in Jaywick. Working with people across Tendring who are unemployed and have experienced anxiety or depression, the programme offers 1 to 1 support from our Peer Support Workers and access to workshops and employer engagement activities.

There is an Open Day on 11th March between 10-3 and anyone feeling that HeadsUp might be able to offer the support that they need to get back into the workplace can pop along to the Signpost Offices at the Jaywick Enterprise Centre and have a chat with a members of the team.

We look forward to seeing you there !

Participant success following engagement with Colchester Employers

We held a second successful event bringing employers and HeadsUp participants together, this time in our Colchester offices. On the day we were pleased to welcome fifteen participants and a broad range of employers: Colchester Borough Council, Lloyds Bank, St Helena Hospice and Colchester Institute who were all there to talk about employability, application tips and volunteering opportunities.

As well as hearing general presentations, most of the participants spent some one-to-one time with employers to explore opportunities and discuss application strategies. Throughout the day it became clear just how much employers respect volunteering experience on CVs, as it shows a willingness and ability to learn new skills and build on existing ones. Participants who currently volunteer also described the benefits of increased confidence and new friendships, so it wasn’t surprising to hear that several of our participants have since gone on to volunteer with St Helena which will develop their skills and give them valuable experience for their CV’s.

Following the event, several participants met with our Employer Engagement Manager to explore new directions which they might not have previously considered possible. One of the most important parts of the HeadsUp approach is that we focus on the right outcome for an individual rather than trying to rush people through a set programme of work, this means that we can help them discover what’s right for them and then do our best to help them achieve it.

More employer engagement events are being planned across the county for the coming months.

2019 brings a new location for HeadsUp in Basildon

A busy start to 2019 with the new year bringing new premises for the HeadsUp Basildon team, as they have moved into the brand new Advice Store in Basildon town centre. With the whole square undergoing redevelopment our Peer Support Worker looks forward to welcoming more interest and drops ins from anyone wishing to find out more about how HeadsUp support people who have experienced common mental health problems, back into the workplace.

Curious passers-by all look through the windows of what was a boarded up fancy dress shop over the past 3 years! Our new position is definitely helping us reach many different people from the local community as we have seen a rise in those not in receipt of unemployment benefit coming through our doors.

HeadsUp colleagues have also been busy doing outreach at the Eastgate shopping centre, where they spent a day with a promotional stand raising awareness of what’s on offer. It was a productive event and as a result we made contact with a number of potential partner organisations.

We are now looking forward to what February presents us with !

Great strides taken by HeadsUp participants in Tendring

HeadsUp colleagues at our Jaywick centre are delighted to see the recent progress made by participants.

Following some one to one time with their Peer Support Worker to give focus and build confidence, one of our participants passed their Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate (the PSW learnt a thing or two aswell!). They have now applied for a part-time catering job in a local primary school, and thanks to attending an interview skills session with our volunteer tutor they are looking forward to getting that call for an interview. Such a positive step forward.

More great progress as one of our participants is volunteering at a local hospital and feels confident enough to deal with the challenges that this can bring. Initially experiencing a lack of confidence, time with their Peer Support Worker helped them to work through that anxiety and feel more focused and confident to go for it. Our participant is now also ready to start an Accredited First Aid Training Course  to support their role at the hospital.

The time and support offered by the HeadsUp project really does make a difference and it’s lovely to see our participants taking their first positive steps back into the workplace. Huge well done to all!

HeadsUp services develop in Southend

A new year brings a new team member to HeadsUp in Southend, and a relaunch of our services there. Welcome to Dave our new Peer Support Worker! We have been attending meetings in the local area and meeting up with new wellbeing focused teams, forming new relationships and referral pathways. We dropped in on a fantastic peer support event facilitated by Wellbeing Matters which brought lots of people who are currently living with mental health problems and service providers together, to discuss what services are available in the area and what else is required.

It was great to see what a range of services Southend has and talk about ways that we can work together. There will be lots of investment into Southend over the next few years, which means lots of employment opportunities! We have been learning about those opportunities at events across the South East.

We are looking forward to the better weather, brighter days lift the mood and get people out and about. To improve our own wellbeing, we took a sunny (but cold) winter stroll along the seafront.