In the last six years the Building Futures project has supported over 300 Bucks residents return to work. Mental health issues are now the main reasons why our clients have become Economically Inactive, and our key workers will work closely with them to provide the guidance and resilience they need to get back into the workplace.

This is particularly visible in our younger clients and has been seen across the UK as a whole.

“Among the youngest age group (those aged 16 to 34 years), the largest overall increase in type of long-term sickness was for mental illness, phobias and nervous disorders, which rose by around 20,000 (a 24% increase)”
Half a million more people are out of the labour force because of long-term sickness - Office for National Statistics (

Ever-increasing referrals from the local authority and partners such as Buck’s Mind has meant the service is more important than ever.

Our programme embeds the five trauma-informed principles (Safety, Trust, Choice, Collaboration and Empowerment) into our three elements of support:

1. Engagement and self-worth

After years of experiencing anxiety and depression our clients often state they feel worthless and have little value to those around them. To help change that mindset and demonstrate this is not the case, we provide courses where they can work together in a group on a project outside their normal experience. We have done this by making movies for local charities, delivering a theatre production for family friends and taking over the local radio show. These experiences re-engage the individuals with their own abilities and remind them of what they can contribute when given a little support.

2. Goals and Objectives

The client and keyworker will also work together to outline a programme which will identify and address needs and put in place everything required for the client to return to work. A large part of these activities will be focused on resilience and the adjustments required to feel comfortable again in a work environment.

3. Employer contact and In work support

Our keyworkers will liaise with employers and clients over the next six months to ensure they settle into role and any potential difficulties are supported to a positive outcome.

Our key workers’ experience and investment in their role is key to the project’s success, and as best said by a recent client who returned to work in the highly pressured environment of Estate Agent house letting:

“Helen has been so helpful and supportive. Can’t thank her enough!’  

We are currently looking at how the service can further support those ending their six sessions of talking therapies with Richmond Fellowship and we aim to have this support up and running in early 2024.


Learn more about our Building Futures project


 - By Allan Potter, Head of Delivery and Business Development


21st November 2023