HeadsUp was developed to address unmet need in primary care/statutory employment provision and supported people deemed ‘fit for work’ but suffering with anxiety, depression or low confidence and self-esteem (common mental health problems). Participants were unemployed or economically inactive but wishing to take steps towards employment, training, or education.
HeadsUp ran for 6 years from 2017-2023 and was awarded over £3.5million in this period. Enable East was the lead organisation with project management responsibilities including finance, communications, compliance and leadership of the delivery project partnership. The partnership of NHS and voluntary sector organisations across Essex, Southend and Thurrock provided our local face to face activity with participants.
Our focus was on members of our community in Essex, Southend and Thurrock, who were struggling to find employment, education or training but were also tackling issues impacting their mental health and wellbeing. We knew that such challenges present significant barriers to taking positive steps to improve lives.
Our holistic approach to supporting participants included a peer support model with a person centred, goal orientated focus to build resilience and improve wellbeing. We combined this with practical employability skills development and wellbeing workshops. Feedback through the lifetime of the project has shown that this approach has been the centrepin to the successful outcomes we have seen for our participants.
HeadsUp achieved very positive outcomes, supporting 1030 people (more than half of whom were economically inactive) to take steps towards their goals. Participants who exited the project had either secured employment, training or education or learnt how to job search themselves. They had also developed skills to maintain their wellbeing and have confidence to take steps along their own journey. Participants also saw a strong improvement to their happiness and sense of wellbeing.
Meet our Participants
Our participants worked with a Peer Support Worker on a one-to-one basis, developed practical skills in our Skill Pods, and grew in self-confidence and resilience through our workshops. Meet some of our participants who have kindly agreed to share their stories to show the impact that HeadsUp had on their lives.