Call the LionHeart Helpline

UK: 0800 009 2960 or +44 (0)121 289 3300

Request a callback


LionHeart Back to Work support: Q&A

work support (cropped)

Demand for our Back to Work service jumped by almost 60% last year. LionHeart support officer Ben Halpin answers some questions about the service, and what people can expect from it, in this blog.

Last year enquiries for our back to work service were up by 57%. Can you describe some of the circumstances members found themselves in? 
What we saw last year was a pretty uncertain jobs market. We saw a number of redundancies that were made very early on in the pandemic, before the furlough scheme had been properly laid out.  

There were also people who had job offers suddenly withdrawn and people who had just switched jobs and found they were not entitled to support; these were the three main groups of people we found were ringing for help.  

The biggest one was certainly where people had just moved jobs. With things closing down, found themselves in a last in, first out situation - and perhaps had not been in the position long enough to qualify for state support or any redundancy package.   

Typically, what type of support can someone expect to access through LionHeart? What will happen if they call the helpline because they are out of work?
The person would come through to me or one of the support officers. First of all we would ask some questions to determine all the circumstances: what financial situation had they been left in? Was there an immediate shortfall that meant they might need a grant? Would legal advice be of benefit if they had been dismissed unfairly or somehow forced out of their job? 

We can provide a whole range of support that can help someone back into work. Help can be provided anywhere in the world, with different programmes to suit different needs. For example, they might need more help with getting their CV up to date or overhauled, interview skills or help with networking. 

Alongside the external specialists we might use, the person will be supported by the LionHeart team for as long as it takes.  

A good proportion of people who use our Back to Work service have been out of the workplace for some time, possibly having taken a career break. Can you describe some of the obstacles they face and how LionHeart can help? 
We support quite a few women who have taken time out of their careers after having children, both surveyors and the partners of surveyors. 

The main obstacles they face are to do with their own confidence, or they may not feel professionally up to speed and think other people will overtake them in an interview setting. We can take a coaching approach through this and just generally help with confidence building. With surveyors we see as well their worries about how the industry might have moved on since they were last in work - big changes in technology, a more widespread use of drones for example.  

We also help a number of older people who sometimes feel like today's jobs market is designed for younger people. Our career coaches can help with this, particularly if they have been made redundant and are job hunting for the first time in a long time. 

If someone rings the helpline for support to get back in to work, what other LionHeart services might they benefit from?  
A LionHeart we take a very holistic approach to the way we support someone. It's not unusual for someone who is out of work to be facing other challenges in their life. 

As well as receiving help with getting back into work, someone might well be getting counselling or coaching from us, and possibly financial support through a one-off or regular grant.  

Our sense of self is often closely associated with what we do. In your experience, how does being out of work affect someone's wellbeing or self-esteem? 
Being out of work can really lower someone's self-esteem and self-worth - it might not feel like you are contributing, you might feel like you've got nothing to talk about, you might feel like you lack purpose. 

It can be really hard to get knocked back at interview or not hear back from sending out applications. It probably happens more at the moment because there seems to be more applicants for each opening advertised, but for that one person it can feel like a real kick in the teeth because it all feeds into that sense of not feeling good enough.  

Sometimes companies say they will only contact those people they are interested in interviewing, but that can mean someone is not getting any feedback and so they don't know where they are going wrong or what they can do differently next time. Again, we are able to help with that and things can quite often move on quickly when someone gets professional advice on their CV and application style.  

We supported one woman who was returning to work after being out for eight or nine years raising children but was really struggling to find an opening. She got help from our back to work coaches, got a job, then got a promotion, and has really thrived since. The difference was that she was showed how to really target her applications and help with networking skills really gave her confidence to go after and get a position she wouldn't have otherwise.  

Ben Halpin is one of the LionHeart support officers. 

Find out more: 

Latest Posts

5th - How youth counselling helped us
22nd - Living with an invisible illness
9th - What makes a good trustee?
1st - Things you must do as a final year surveying student!
4th - Dyslexia in surveying
28th - Reflecting on 12 years at LionHeart
13th - New beginnings and how to embrace them
5th - Losing a sibling to suicide
5th - Celebrating one year alcohol-free
25th - Caring for someone with MS
20th - How to set boundaries at work
17th - 'Calling LionHeart was like being thrown a life jacket'
6th - Spotlight on winter fundraising
3rd - Facing cancer
14th - Identifying and dealing with workplace bullying
13th - Why make a will?
12th - Living with OCD
3rd - Autism and my road of discovery
22nd - Frequently asked questions about LionHeart
25th - 25 years of LionHeart
11th - 'Stress caused me permanent disability'
18th - Diversifying our board, and why
18th - Coaching to unlock a new future
12th - How to help your lonely teen
9th - Asking for help - as the helper
28th - Why talking about dying is so important
7th - 9 simple ways to cut stress
23rd - Living & succeeding with ADHD
16th - 'I came to see how much of my life was run on adrenaline'
10th - "My daughter didn't want to be here any more"
4th - My life-changing cancer diagnosis
13th - Reassessing how you drink
4th - Looking to the future
19th - How alcohol almost cost me everything
18th - Children's grief and how to help
16th - Alcohol, anxiety and how secrets keep you sick
4th - "I had no idea stress could cause a real physical pain"
22nd - 5 ways to get your teen talking
18th - The Positives of Menopause
13th - Baby loss and depression
12th - The pandemic's impact on children's mental health (and what we can do about it)
8th - Don't judge a book - a story of depression and change
5th - LionHeart Back to Work support
29th - Post APC submission
16th - How families feel youth mental health
24th - 6 top tips if you've been referred
20th - Coaching for change
12th - "I'd hit absolute bottom - but it was the catalyst to seek help”
22nd - Spring into action by fundraising for LionHeart
4th - Reflecting on university mental health
15th - My experiences of counselling
20th - Worry Time - and how it helps
18th - My furlough & redundancy journey
13th - Volunteering and LionHeart
30th - A road to change
2nd - Trusteeship through lockdown and uncertainty
12th - The importance of legacies
10th - Overwhelm - and overcoming it
8th - Lockdown and my mental health
28th - Creativity at Work
20th - Video
24th - 'If I can do it, so can you'
22nd - How to ace your APC interview online
8th - Help! I've been referred... what now?
3rd - Your coronavirus concerns, and how we're helping
12th - Managing health anxiety through Covid-19 - and how we helped Mike
12th - How coronavirus might be affecting your mental health
31st - Rising to the coronavirus challenge
24th - Keep connecting - in a different way
13th - Demonstrating our impact
4th - The Big C and grabbing life
4th - "Cancer wasn't meant to happen to us"
30th - My journey as a charity trustee
7th - Top 10 tips for CVs and interviews
9th - Grief and loss at Christmas
7th - Charity trusteeship
6th - How counselling can help manage stress
9th - Living with anxiety and depression
10th - How coaching can help
16th - Changing attitudes to mental health
15th - The vicious circle of body image & mental health
14th - Social Anxiety & how we can help
11th - Life with Parkinson's
29th - What is Bipolar?
29th - The one about the Bipolar surveyor...
12th - Memory tips from the training front line
22nd - Losing a parent
7th - LionHeart's support was a game-changer when I failed APC
16th - When the reality of motherhood doesn't quite go to plan
10th - The story behind surveying's Sisterhood Summit
2nd - The rollercoaster of being a first-time dad
22nd - My father's suicide and what I've learnt
14th - Tips for your RICS APC final assessment interview
7th - Trust in the charity sector
21st - Is it really okay to not be okay?
17th - Building resilience through your APC
8th - 7 ways to get more active this year
4th - Coping with loss and grief at Christmas
5th - "I was told I might not be cut out to be a surveyor"
26th - Resilience, and why we need it
21st - APC Revision Top Ten Tips
12th - LionHeart on new fundraising code of practice
19th - Living with 'invisible' illness
14th - How LionHeart helped us live life
13th - Men's Health Week 2017
22nd - Living with panic attacks
18th - Why we must care about work life balance
11th - The chicken-and-egg of mental health and shame
2nd - What I learnt from Dry January
31st - "My 19-year journey to MRICS is what made me"
5th - Ways to be kind to yourself in 2017
7th - Suicide prevention
1st - Coping with APC stress
13th - "I constantly watch my husband for suicidal signs"
26th - Dealing with referral at APC Final Assessment
19th - How mindfulness can help your relationships
18th - "I live, and thrive, with depression"
17th - Men and mental health
16th - Mental health and your relationship
26th - Starting out in surveying
11th - A happy retirement
1st - My Dry(ish) January
21st - Spring clean your finances
6th - When to consider couples counselling
4th - Having a (financially) healthier Christmas
18th - How to help a loved one with an addiction
15th - Reflections on the Lionheart Surveyors' Football League season
12th - Carers
10th - How LionHeart can support carers
9th - Desktop Relaxation techniques
29th - Techniques to help combat anxiety
20th - Helping a family member with depression
18th - Achievements that make a difference
16th - Five things that may indicate your colleague needs help
11th - Helping during a panic attack