Future Intentions Yorkshire leading women returners into 2022

Our Success Story by Liz Hempshall

Taking a leap of faith

Taking a leap of faith is very thought provoking and great for getting the adrenaline pumping, the kind of adrenaline that wakes you up at three in the morning with your mind buzzing with ideas, it is the buzz that makes you want to get on the phone to your people to share your ideas, not sure it would go down well at 3 o’ clock in the morning. I think this must be the very reason I have an array of notebooks, everyone who knows me well knows I love getting new notebooks, diaries and pens for Christmas or birthdays and whoever invented post-its was a genius.

Challenges at every turn

Although there have been many challenges along the way, both professionally and personally. My passion to drive the business forward never left me, although at times self-doubt plagued my mind, but what kept the passion burning was thoughts of the women returners we have had the privilege to help since our early days and how we can continue our work to help so many more women returners into 2022 and beyond.

The journey began

Having a nostalgic look back to November 2016 when my journey started as a sole trader of Future Intentions, just bound with buckets full of passion and just over £1200 from the Enterprise Allowance Scheme, myself and a committed team of volunteers bound with endless ideas and dedication went on to build the vision for something remarkable in our own communities to help women not unlike ourselves to push the boundaries of their perceived potential in the workplace. To level the playing field with women who have not experienced the challenges of returning to work after years on a break, the social isolation, poor mental health and physical challenges, caring responsibilities and the burden of a lack of economic contribution to their families, community and wider society. We must not become disillusioned that these factors as exhaustive of the true challenge, there are so many more complexities to life as a women returner.

Challenges of the pandemic in 2020 and beyond

Personally, I became crippled with anxiety and poor mental health in the height of the pandemic in 2020, having worked so hard with my volunteers against the adversity of the pandemic, my own drive would not let me just lay down and accept what seems like the inevitable end. I did not want to put all my volunteers hard work in vain, so I found a way to survive the uncertainty by accepting what I could not change and coping with each day as it came. This mindfulness is something I find very helpful today and I love nothing better than embracing the great outdoors, the early morning sounds of birds and the joyful playing of the children at the local school happily filling my mind with thoughts and feelings of the world before the pandemic. “I found comfort in even the smallest things”. Today we still all face the uncertainty of the situation with the pandemic, but acknowledging gratitude for everything, is certainly one way that gets me through each and every day.

Missing the workplace camaraderie

For many this can bring feelings of little self-worth as their professional identity slowly diminishes with every day they are not part of the camaraderie of the workplace any longer, workplace banter helps women to feel connected to others and often felt to give women a good sense of belonging, after all most people spend more time at work than with their friends and family. “I loved the banter with work colleagues, it was a big part of my working day and felt like a family, nothing was ever too much trouble. I loved it so much I stayed 3 years as a volunteer supporting young people into employment”.

Challenges of a work/life balance

Work/life balance is often something not far from the minds of women returners, particularly women with caring responsibilities whether it be a mum or carer of an elderly or disabled family member. If you would like to join us in 2022 to be part of a community of women with the lived experience of the challenges, wanting to find out how we can help you, look out for our new exciting programmes of activities for 2022 on our Facebook page @futureintentions or alternatively email Liz on

Looking to the future

Here at Future Intentions Yorkshire we want to continue our work to help more women returners to take the unimaginable into reality, whether returning to work or just looking for a solution that works for you to improve your health and wellbeing, engage more socially or looking into the option of volunteering as a pathway back into today workplace. Currently we are running a recruitment drive for new volunteers, if you would like to know more about opportunities, email Liz on for an application form and volunteer role descriptions.

New website for Future Intentions Yorkshire

We are very excited to be soon launching a brand-new website to coincide with being granted Community Interest Company status recently. We would love to hear your feedback on what you think about our website, we welcome your ideas for what you would like to see on the website, after all IT’S YOURS.

Keep your eyes on our Facebook page @futureintentions for an announcement for the launch of our website COMING SOON.

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