Zoi’s journey

Zoi has been living and working in the UK since 2011 and between 2016-2019 she worked in banqueting in hotels and companies. Unfortunately, due to Covid, she was made redundant as the hospitality industry almost collapsed as venues were not allowed to operate. Zoi has been unemployed for 2 years now and has tried to find work.

During the first year of lockdown, Zoi found herself feeling lonely and isolated. Her mood was very low, and she started having panic attacks, lost her appetite and wasn’t sleeping very well. The fact that she couldn’t go out due to covid and having to stay in was affecting her mental health. Once Covid restrictions allowed her to go out for exercise, she took this opportunity and decided to start running and cycling in her local park as she knew this would make her feel better. Zoi also enrolled at college to improve her English when lessons in the classroom were allowed. She also applied to a local charity shop to volunteer and is still working there every Saturday. She said the volunteering experience gave her an employment opportunity, and also helped to reduce loneliness and isolation along with meeting good friends.

Referral to HeadsUp

Although she felt she was stepping in the right direction with her mental health, she still didn’t feel herself. She spoke to her GP and was referred to Vitaminds to work with an NHS therapist. Zoi expressed her desire to work but was finding it difficult due to her negative thoughts and low confidence. She also wasn’t sure how to start job searching or if her CV was any good. Vitaminds suggested HeadsUp.

Zoi said she didn’t know what to expect from HeadsUp but after her first meeting with her Peer Support Worker (PSW) she was amazed at the advice she was given. Not only for support in job searching for her wellbeing too. She attended an online workshop for confidence and wellbeing and felt more positive. She said her PSW has given her great emotional support and completing the “My goals session” has given her a direction.

Developing practical skills

After Zoi started to feel more confident, she was referred to a Development and Skills Officer (DSO) to support her with practical job searching, CV and interview skill pods. She said that working with her DSO has shown her how to revamp her existing CV so it’s ready to use and upload to job applications. The CV skill pod has given her so much confidence to adapt her CV for different jobs she is applying for. She found that completing the other skill pods such as job searching, CV, Interview skills and and questions have been so helpful.

Zoi shares her experiences

She said that ‘its ok to have worksheets, but my DSO talked me through and explained how to use the information. It embeds in your head rather than just being given a worksheet for you to do on your own.

the HeadsUp program has been truly supportive[to her] by people with experience and a deep understanding of mental health.’

It has made her feel that she has progressed so much, as the steps are very clever and clear so she knew what she was doing and where she was with each session. She’s told her friends about the support she was getting, they couldn’t believe she was receiving help and it was free!

She said that ‘HeadsUp has lessened my anxiety and made me much more confident going out.’

Now feeling well within herself, she’s been able to job search and apply and attend an interview. Although she didn’t get the job, she feels that she would not have had the confidence to get this far, without the support from HeadsUp.

Zoi said ‘[she would] recommend HeadsUp because knowing my PSW has had her own mental health experience, has made me feel my wellbeing is better understood. My PSW understood me completely’.

Now studying for her GCSE’s and looking for her professional work in printing companies.

For more information about Vitaminds, click here (Add link) https://www.vitahealthgroup.co.uk/nhs-services/nhs-mental-health/

Stephen from Southend

Stephen had been working in a restaurant when his Mum became poorly and needed 24-hour care. He decided to quit his full-time job and provide care for his Mum but sadly after 10 years his Mum passed away. Stephen said he then found himself not doing anything, he was just sitting around in the house and watching TV and films. He said that he had always been a bit of a loner and didn’t want to go to work as it didn’t bother him. He felt happy doing nothing for a while but then he started to feel anxious and depressed, although at the time didn’t recognise that this was what he was feeling.  This then progressed to become suicidal thoughts.

Starting with HeadsUp

Stephen lives with his sister, and she noticed how he had become withdrawn and encouraged him to go to the doctors. They assessed Stephen and confirmed he had had a breakdown and prescribed antidepression medication. The medication helped him to feel less anxious and depressed and he began to feel more motivated. The doctor also referred Stephen to Therapy for You which he found very helpful. As he was discussing his feelings and how he would like to get back in to work, Therapy for You suggested HeadsUp to him.  As the project supports participants just like Stephen to find work Stephen thought it was a perfect opportunity as he didn’t know where to start.  His Peer Support Worker (PSW) discussed creating a CV and how to look for jobs on the internet as he said he didn’t feel very confident having been out of work for so long. His PSW suggested working with a Development and Skills Officer (DSO) on his CV and other skill pods, such as interview types and techniques. Although he wasn’t sure if it was going to help, as time went on working with his DSO, Stephen said he started to feel excited about the thought of getting a job.

A smashing CV!

He was engaging in all the skill pods and really looked forward to his weekly call as it gave him a purpose and something to focus on.  He particularly enjoyed the interview skill pods, as this gave him so much confidence about what to expect, the different types of interviews and how to structure and answer questions using the STAR technique. Stephen said he was only hoping to come away with a CV and now he has a smashing CV, and the confidence to job search and apply for jobs!

Interview Success!

Stephen said “I can’t believe the support I’ve received from HeadsUp and most of all, after only 2 months of being on the program, I’ve successfully searched, applied, and got a job working in KFC! During the interview, I was able to answer the questions using the techniques that I’d been taught, and I used my CV to talk about all my skills”

Overall, Stephen said the support from the PSW gave him hope, he felt organised and they helped him order a birth certificate. He said that the support from his DSO was life changing. He said his confidence grew every time he met and that recapping the interview skills and exploring his CV really helped. By creating a new CV, it showed him how his skills are transferable and that made him begin to believe in himself. His sister noticed a huge difference in his motivation even after the first few weeks!  She could see that he was happier.

Looking back, Stephen said “I’m proud of sticking with the course and most of all getting a job!! I’ve started working on a 20-hour per week contract and they’ve already asked me to work more hours as they are so pleased with my work. This has made me more confident that I’ve made progress in the company so quickly. I would definitely recommend HeadsUp and to take all the advice, listen and do the workshops as these are brilliant. Just take on everything they offer”

 

Read Hazal’s story

Hazal, was employed by a Call Centre, taking repair enquiries. She was working more and more hours than her agreed contract just to meet her targets. She started to run herself into the ground trying to keep up and had to leave her job as she started to feel mentally exhausted. This bad experience had knocked her confidence and she had been unemployed for 2 years. To try and get her confidence back, she started volunteering for a local transport service. She was in an admin role and really enjoying it. Said being with people again helped her confidence so much that she felt she was ready to get back into employment.

Then covid hit and she was laid off from her volunteering role. Hazal said she found herself staying at home all the time and feeling depressed. She felt that she didn’t have a purpose anymore and although she loved being with her children, she needed the routine and structure that having a job provides. She started to become very low, and her anxiety was getting worse, even struggling to go out of the house on her own. She didn’t feel that she’d ever be able to work again.

Finding out about HeadsUp

She saw an advert about getting on a course or work at her local Advice Store. After going in and having a chat, they told her about HeadsUp and how they could support her with her anxieties around finding a course or going back to work. Hazal felt anxious about joining HeadsUp at first, but after her first phone call from her Peer Support Worker (PSW) she was put totally at ease and said, she was amazing. Her PSW helped her to go through the enrolment and she started to feel excited as she’d started the ball moving and it felt great! Talking things through with her PSW really helped her decide if she was going to go on course or get a job. She decided that getting back to work was more important for her and her mental health.

Exploring practical skills

Having a pathway to focus on was helping her anxiety and they started to look at jobs and her skills. Her PSW referred her to a HeadsUp Development Skills Officer (DSO) who worked with her on her CV to identify her transferable skills. They explored Interview skills and how to use the STAR method which many people find really helpful – and Hazal did too.

Hazal said she felt confident to job search and apply for a job. Although she didn’t get the first job she went for, she felt she had done her best at the interview and using the STAR technique helped her to answer questions well. She asked for feedback from the interview, and they said that she interviewed well, but was pipped at the post as the other applicant had more experience. Hazal said she felt pleased with herself and is now confident applying and going for an interview independently.

She didn’t know what to expect from HeadsUp, but it’s provided her with structure and routine as she started physically seeing her PSW every week.

My motivation has been really boosted by seeing my PSW in person and just having someone to encourage and guide me.

And then my confidence started to improve

‘The telephone calls from my DSO were just fantastic! They helped me realise that I have more skills than I thought.

Finding herself pleasantly shocked that with the help of HeadsUp she’s found a job so quickly working in an admin role, and how quickly her anxiety and low mood has lessened.

Hazal said ‘ I’ll be working for a company called Provide doing bank work as an administration assistant. I think this suits me more as I am in a bit more control over the hours I work and how much I choose to work. I believe this will help build up my confidence & get me used to going back to a full time admin role.

I have stopped putting myself down and it makes me feel good. My husband has always been supportive and has definitely seen a change in my motivation’

Hazal said ‘[she is] really proud of herself and will be starting work in March. I’m getting out and about again and feel excited to be working again. I now feel confident to update my current CV with my new job!

She said ‘[she would] recommend HeadsUp to anybody that’s nervous or apprehensive, as it’s not just about getting a job. Attending a resilience and wellbeing workshops boosted my confidence, and I didn’t even know these existed! The workshops made me feel good about myself again!’

Introducing Catherine

Catherine worked for Barnardo’s Uniform Factory for 12 years. Her Mum was diagnosed with Dementia and Catherine left her job to care for her Mum full time which she did for over 15 years before she sadly passed away. Catherine wanted to look for work but felt that due to her lack of experience, qualifications, and her age, she wouldn’t be able to find a job. She was able to apply for benefits whilst she wasn’t working and was offered a back to work program and enrolled for an I.T. and computer course. She passed two I.T exams and was incredibly pleased with herself as she didn’t have any self-confidence.

After more job searching, Catherine attended a training course for a carer’s position as this was all the experience she had. The training led to a job offer working in a care home. After just one day, Catherine decided it wasn’t for her as it brought back too many memories of her Mum and she left. She attended a few further interviews but had no luck and started to feel depressed and hopeless.

She said “I felt like a scrounger being on benefits and it got me down. I was worried my age would hold me back. Because of my anxiety and depression, the Job Centre referred me to HeadsUp and said the organisation can help me get back into work or training. I wasn’t worried about joining HeadsUp as I thought it’s just another company. I didn’t have much hope”

Meeting her Peer Support Worker

Catherine’s first meeting with her Peer Support Worker (PSW) was brilliant. Said she felt listened to and it gave her confidence to look for other work not just care work. Said she was excited to explore other possibilities and how her PSW went that extra mile and was on the ball. Catherine said she felt supported with phone calls she had to make, and nothing was too much trouble. Anything Catherine wanted to know, such as benefits, her PSW would assist her to find out.

Practical Skills

Catherine was then introduced to her Development and Skills Officer (DSO) and spoke about creating a CV, how to job search and interview skills. This made her feel so confident and she started to believe in herself. Catherine felt hopeful at last and that she could do other jobs and not be just a cleaner or a carer. Working with her DSO, taught her how to use a tablet device and how to use her phone to help her to job search on her own. Catherine said her DSO was so patient and kind and she was learning more about computers and felt ready to work.

Catherine’s has said “Being with HeadsUp has given me a lot more confidence and I am happy that somebody was taking an interest in me. I was feeling thick and old, but the team made me feel like a person. I really enjoyed the 1-2-1 support rather than group work as I got so much information and knowledge from them. I even attended a job fair on my own and my sister noticed how much happier I had become. It’s amazing what a bit of self-belief can do for you. I would definitely recommend HeadsUp because they helped me above and beyond. I was a wreck and had no one to turn to and these people lifted me up”

Unfortunately, due to Catherine’s illness becoming worse, she isn’t able to work at the moment, but has said when she is better, she knows that she’ll be happy and confident job searching and amending her CV by herself.

Meet Alan from Westcliffe

Alan was employed as a driver for over 10 years when he and his wife started a family. Following the arrival of their child they decided that his wife would go out to work and Alan would become a house husband. Fast forward 2 years of being a stay-at-home Dad and once the twins started nursery, it was time for Alan to get back to work. Whilst job searching, Alan said he hadn’t realised how anxious it would make him feel. He didn’t know where to start looking as he’d been out of work for some time.

Alan searched the internet for a CV template and paid for one online. When it came back, he said it was rubbish and how it didn’t feel as though it was showing off his skills as well as it should do, however he did use it and sent it out to agencies and for online jobs but said he didn’t have much luck with responses. This had then affected his confidence so much that he didn’t think he could attend any interviews.

Referral to HeadsUp

Alan started to feel hopeless and thought he would never get back to work and enjoy what he used to do. He spoke to his Probation Officer, and they recommended HeadsUp. He made contact and felt much better about the advice he was given even at his first appointment. He said he wasn’t worried about joining HeadsUp as he was open to any help or advice and welcomed the service with open arms! Alan first spoke to his PSW (Peer Support Worker) and explained his issues and how he felt. His PSW made him feel calm and positive about his situation. He said everything was explained clearly so he knew he would work with different members of the HeadsUP team on different skills.

Weekly Sessions

Alan said he looked forward to his weekly sessions. After several sessions with his Development and Skills Officer (DSO) Alan said he was surprised at how much he was learning in such a short time. Alan completed his CV and was learning interview skills and said he felt so supported and much more confident and that his DSO had been amazing in guiding him through the process. Alan said

“My confidence and motivation to find a job has been boosted by their support. The whole process has encouraged me, made me feel positive and my future attainable. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even my good friend, that has been by my side, noticed my positive outlook.”

With Alans new CV and interview skills, he attended a job interview and was successful and offered a job. Alan accepted and is now in full-time employment.

Alan shared the good news about getting a job with his Probation Officer. The Probation service said they will definitely refer more people to HeadsUp services due to Alans positive story.

 Alan said, “Looking back I am proud of myself for sticking with the program. I am a much better person now. Without the organisation, I would still be a procrastinating idiot! HeadsUp has changed my life. I am now employed and happy. I would 100% recommend HeadsUp and their services. “

Meet Charlotte

Charlotte was working for a garden furniture company as a Customer Service Manager where she managed 5 people and had 3 wage increases due to her exceptional work. Around March 2019, Charlotte went home sick for a week and then Covid hit and everyone had to work from home. She continued to work from home but found herself not going out of the house at all. Her employer had planned for all staff to return to work in the offices by end of May 2021 but Charlotte began to feel fear and anxiety at the thought of even leaving her house, let alone go into work. She wasn’t sleeping and started to feel tired and depressed. Her family and friends noticed a change in her usual chatty self and that she wasn’t going out at all.

Charlotte discussed how she was feeling with her employer and was put on reduced hours. Unfortunately, after some time she still wasn’t sleeping and wasn’t able to do her job. She applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) due to her suffering with anxiety and depression and has been on long term sick since. Sadly, Charlotte’s sister passed away last June from an asthma attack which sent her ‘anxiety through the roof

Seeking Support

Through a Local Authority referral, Charlotte was having therapy sessions with ‘Therapy for you’ to help with her anxiety and depression and found this very helpful. During her time being at home, Charlotte hadn’t tried to look for work, training or courses and felt like both she and her home had become a mess. Her son had been helping to pay bills, but they couldn’t afford internet so it was disconnected. She felt her life was ‘spiraling out of control’ and could see it was affecting her children. Charlotte knew she needed to ‘return to work, to get her out of her mind set and to feel useful again’. Charlotte’s therapy was coming to an end, and she explained that she felt ready to get back into work but didn’t know where or how to start looking for another job which is when her therapist signposted her to HeadsUp.

Starting with HeadsUp

After her first meeting with her Peer Support Worker (PSW) Charlotte felt brilliant for the first time in ages. ‘I was able to be myself with my PSW and explain exactly how I felt’ After discussing job ideas and how to change her career path by exploring the National Careers Service her PSW introduced her to one of the Development and Skills Officer (DSO). Charlotte said, she ‘had no worries about joining HeadsUp as I knew they would have lots of advice on hand and would work at my pace

Developing Practical Job Seeking Skills

The DSO went through a plan of what Charlotte would like to achieve and set up appointments/meetings to help go through her CV, interview techniques, job application forms and to look through Charlottes different transferable skills. Just by having a few of these telephone appointments, she felt so much more motivated, confident, and able to cope, that she even applied for a job! The interview didn’t go too well, as Charlotte had only been out of the house twice before so felt anxious. But Charlotte wanted that experience and felt it was an achievement in itself, as she has felt ‘so low for quite some time’

A new confidence

During her time with HeadsUp, Charlotte has said ‘they have helped me to achieve self-belief, self-worth by the telephone support and encouragement. I really looked forward to our phone calls. They have shown me how to search for jobs and I now have the confidence to apply and attend a job interview on my own and I now have the confidence to know that I’m not too old to change my career! I was really good at my customer service job and now I know how to transfer my skills into other job roles‘.

Charlotte is now volunteering at her local foodbank as she likes being around people and finds this helps with her anxiety to get her out of the house. She says that she has ‘lots of motivation and feels worthy’ she said ‘knowing HeadsUp had faith in me, has helped me to apply for Level 2 course as I feel a hunger and thirst to learn as well as look for work.’ Charlottes friends and family have also noticed the difference in her mental health, as she is laughing and being more organised at home again.

Charlotte said ‘Looking back, I’ve gone from being house bound, to going out and about and being with people. I’m very proud of what I have achieved. I would thousand percent recommend anyone to use the HeadsUp service

Useful links from Charlotte’s story
Therapy for You: https://www.therapyforyou.co.uk/contact
National Careers Service: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/
Find a foodbank: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/

Matt’s Story

Matt wasn’t looking for work when he started with HeadsUp and had been unemployed for 2 years after making the personal decision to close his successful business. Within this time, he moved to a new house and went through a divorce. He had been having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and trying to cope with anxiety, so wasn’t in a position to look for work.

Finding HeadsUp

It took him a while to get in touch with HeadsUp and to get on board due to his anxiety and being occupied with other things. He liked the fact that HeadsUp was not compulsory and was given time and freedom, he’d worked since the age of 10 so this flexibility was crucial to him. Matt was hoping to refresh his CV as he felt it was outdated and needed re-formatting as he’d not previously needed one whilst running his own business. He also wanted advice on future prospects and what his options may be.

Exploring his skillset

Matt talked through career ideas with his Peer Support Worker (PSW), discussing his experience and skills and how they could fit into different sorts of roles. He was also supported by one of HeadsUp’s Development and Skills Officers (DSO) who helped review his CV, and he was very happy with the final result. Matt explained that he now feels his CV is ‘well written, more to the point and relevant’, he now understands how to tailor his CV to different roles and how to use it as a tool in the application process. From the work Matt completed with HeadsUp Matt feels his motivation has improved along with his confidence to edit and use his CV.

The impact of the right support

The support made Matt feel ‘good, having support rather than sitting around moping not knowing what to do next’. He started to see a change in himself and his confidence, and those around him also told him that they had seen a difference. He started using FaceTime and Zoom with family members over lockdown, he said ‘I wouldn’t have felt able to do it before, I would have been depressed and moping’. He’s proud of the achievements he’s made, feeling more confident about using his CV which he feels now reflects his successful career history. Throughout his time on the project he has felt reassured by having someone check in with him and give him the opportunity to discuss his future options.

Matt is very appreciative of the support he has received for him to now be able to job search independently. His confidence has been boosted by this support and he feels able to explore different options to get back to work. Matt says ‘Yeah, I would definitely recommend HeadsUp

Introducing Matt from Rayleigh

Matt wasn’t looking for work when he started with HeadsUp and had been unemployed for 2 years after making the personal decision to close his successful business. Within this time, he moved to a new house and went through a divorce. He had been having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and trying to cope with anxiety, so wasn’t in a position to look for work.

It took Matt a while to get in touch with HeadsUp and to get on board due to his anxiety and being occupied with other things. He liked the fact that the project wasn’t compulsory and was given time and freedom. He’d worked since the age of 10 so this flexibility was crucial to him. Matt was hoping to refresh his CV as he felt it was outdated and needed re-formatting as he’d not previously needed one whilst running his own business. He also wanted advice on future prospects and what his options might be.

Working with his Peer Support Worker

Matt talked through career ideas with his Peer Support Worker (PSW), discussing experience and skills and how they could fit into different sorts of roles. Support was also available from one of HeadsUp’s Development and Skills Officers (DSO) who helped review his CV, and he was very happy with the final result. He feels his CV is now ‘well written, more to the point and relevant’. He also understands how to tailor his CV to different roles and how to use it as a tool in the application process. Matt feels his motivation has improved along with his confidence to edit and use his CV. The support made Matt feel ‘good, having support rather than sitting around moping not knowing what to do next’.

Building Confidence

He started to see a change in himself and his confidence, and those around him also told him that they had seen a difference. Matt started using FaceTime and Zoom with family members over lockdown, he said ‘I wouldn’t have felt able to do it before, I would have been depressed and moping’. Matt is proud of the achievements he has made, feeling more confident about using his CV which he feels now reflects his successful career history. Throughout his time on the project he has felt reassured by having someone check in with him and give him the opportunity to discuss his future options.

Matt is very appreciative of the support he has received for him to now be able to job search independently. His confidence has been boosted by this support and he feels able to explore different options to get back to work.  Matt says ‘Yeah, I would definitely recommend HeadsUp’

Meet Ty from Braintree

There’s no single “type” of person who comes to HeadsUp. Ty had moved from a successful career in financial services into an even more successful career as a body-builder. He was crowned Mr Universe Musclemania 2013 in Florida- after just two years of targeted training. A spell as a TV host in Kuwait was followed by several years in the USA developing his own brand, a blend of fitness, music and motivation that even saw him sing at The White House. In 2018 he became unwell, and returned to the UK.

In Ty’s words, he knew his “mental health was bad”. He felt “far away from everything”, and struggled to communicate with anyone, including his loved ones. After a period of time he knew that he wanted to get better, to get back to the gym and work on his mind, body and spirit. He felt he could trust the UK and trust the NHS, so he sought help. He was referred to a MIND STaR worker, whose bubbly personality helped him to reconnect with the outside world. When the time was right he was then referred to HeadsUp.

The Impact of my Peer Support Worker

“I saw it was Lottery funded, and I felt like now I could win the Lottery… Just having people believe in you, to almost give a stamp of approval that now you’re ready”, says Ty. “HeadsUp seemed tailored to me: a programme that gets your mind back and helps you get back to work”. He credits the warmth and empathy of his Peer Support Worker (PSW) with helping him to understand his own health; and when things felt tough she was always there with encouragement and support. She helped him to open up, and when the time was right she started to discuss employment opportunities with him. At this point she got a Development and Skills Officer (DSO) involved.

Ty appreciated this extra practical support. Working together with the DSO, they agreed the type of employment that would help him in his aspiration to “grow more and more into a better version of myself”. An updated, restructured and tailored CV helped him to appreciate his achievements thus far and started to open doors. He took part in a HeadsUp online wellbeing workshop which he found incredibly useful: not only was the trainer great, but as part of the process he also learned to use Teams for video calls. He then opted to have his DSO appointments via Teams, appreciating the virtual face to face contact.

As Ty’s confidence grew he also increased involvement with his church, helping to plan virtual events around Easter. He was encouraged to share his talents with the church community further, and taught an online exercise class to fellow worshippers. Again, this supported his confidence and reminded him just how much he had to offer; so when his PSW showed him a job opportunity he was ready to go for it.

Rediscovering a Sense of Purpose

“I’m working now. It’s a local gym, great atmosphere, with the opportunity to build on my qualifications”. When he looks back on his journey to this point he is particularly proud to be teaching a high-intensity training class that he has put together, and to see people enjoying it. He knows that his mum can see a happier, healthier son. She has always been a source of great inspiration to him, and he wants to repay that by making a difference to others. Ty has rediscovered his sense of purpose, and wants his story to help motivate others who are facing their own struggles: he has taken part in podcasts and wants to reduce the stigma people feel regarding mental health.

Ty is proud to recommend the support he has received from HeadsUp, and has some great advice to others when they join the programme:

“Get on that phone, make sure you keep every appointment. Those calls should be cherished- every call was a light in a dark tunnel. Follow through- if you don’t do your part you won’t get as much out of it. Take the advice. The formula works, the structure will work. Trust it.”

Introducing Debbie from Ingatestone

Debbie had been out of work since June 2019 and despite looking online and applying for jobs she felt quite lost. In September 2019 Debbie heard about HeadsUp and signed up as she felt the support could help build her confidence and it might be beneficial to have her CV reviewed as she ‘wasn’t sure what companies were after’.  She hadn’t worked in an office for over 17 years, but this is where Debbie saw herself, however her low confidence meant that she had little faith that she might be able to achieve it.

Because Debbie was going through a divorce she was desperate to get in to work, she wanted to prove that she could look after herself as she ‘wanted to stand on my own two feet’. She explained that she ‘went into survival mode to look after herself and children’ and she wanted to make her kids feel proud of her. Debbie wasn’t worried about signing up with HeadsUp as she felt she needed direction and at the point felt ‘lost’.

HeadsUp gave Debbie the direction that she needed and with support from both her Peer Support Worker (PSW) and a Development and Skills Officer (DSO) she developed her job seeking skills and subsequently her confidence grew. Her DSO supported her in editing her CV to create two high quality CVs and learn how to use information from them to support different applications. She completed other Skill Pods including online applications and Interview techniques and the latter she found particularly helpful as it had been a long time since she had attended a job interview. This gave her a newfound confidence and Debbie felt prepared for the interviews she was starting to get, leaving her feeling very grateful for this support.

Debbie felt that she was staying on track and reflected that ‘having this support has been my crutch and I really appreciated having this, you cleared my head and held my hand as we’ve gone through’. She has had a lot on her plate and having continued support from a PSW and DSO has helped Debbie to stay focused, as she admits that ‘I may have given up for a while if not for your support’. Having HeadsUp support during this difficult time in Debbie’s life has allowed her to stay on track and move forward. Something she values even more due to lockdown which has resulted in her not talking to people regularly.

Debbie particularly values completing her CV with a DSO and having support with online applications as she now feels more confident with being able to promote her own skillset without feeling over the top. Her confidence has grown with completing online applications and now has the confidence to apply for many different jobs as she now understands how her skills are transferrable to many roles. The whole experience has had a positive impact on her resilience as she now knows that if she doesn’t hear back from a job it’s okay.

Debbie feels like ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’, she’s started being offered interviews and getting shortlisted, coming close in the application process which is such an achievement. Debbie has now been offered a role which she has accepted and will be starting a job as an Accounts Administrative Assistant, which is brilliant! Debbie reflects that ‘HeadsUp helped keep me focused and moving forward, I would definitely recommend them – nothing to lose and only to gain.’