Location: UK and Ireland (delivered virtually)

Opportunity: Return-to-Work Coaching and Skills Training Programme

Dates: March – April 2023, 8 hours (during school hours) over 8 weeks

Register by: ASAP, latest by 11.59pm Sunday 19 February 2023 (limited places allocated on a first come first served basis)

* Applications have now closed *

Following our fundraising drive last year, we’re excited to launch our fully-funded Women Returners Bursary Programme. The programme will support professional women in the UK and Ireland on extended career breaks of a minimum of 12 months, who are either on benefits or who have refugee status, to return to professional work.

The free-of-charge programme will include small group return-to-work coaching and skills training workshops delivered by an expert Women Returners Coach, together with connection with a supportive peer group.

About The Women Returners Bursary Programme

The Women Returners Bursary Programme is funded by the Liz Mason Fund, in memory of Liz Mason, our wonderful team member who died suddenly in February 2022.

This comprehensive Return to Work Support Programme will address your practical and psychological barriers to returning to work and develop your job search skills to make you return-to-work ready. Expert coaches will deliver tailored coaching and skills training modules to support you at each step of your journey.

The Programme will kick off with a one-hour online group Q&A session the week before workshops commence. The coaching and training workshops will be delivered in four 90-minute sessions, remotely via Zoom in small interactive groups, helping you to build a peer support network. This will be followed by a one-hour group check-in after the completion of the workshops.

There is no cost for attending but we do require your commitment to complete the Programme and to carry out a final evaluation.

How will I benefit?

Coaching and Skills Training Modules (delivered by a Women Returners Expert Coach)

  • Build your professional confidence
  • Develop an optimal return to work mindset
  • Clarify your career direction
  • Identify your key strengths
  • Understand how to write a compelling CV
  • Learn how to create (or refresh) your LinkedIn profile following a career break
  • Develop interview skills and know how to prepare for an interview
  • Develop networking skills
  • Create an action plan for your return to work

All participants will benefit from meeting with other women returners to create a return-to-work support network.

Am I eligible?

To join The Women Returners Bursary Programme, you must:

  • Identify as a woman
  • Have been on a career break for a minimum of 12 months, as at 1 March 2023 (this can include part-time, lower paid work, freelance work or running a small business)
  • Have a professional background
  • Have the right to work in the UK or Ireland
  • Be fluent in English (as we don’t have budget for translators)

In addition, you must either be:

  • In receipt of benefits (e.g. Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance) OR
  • Have refugee status

Your career break could be for childcare, eldercare, relocation, leaving your home country to escape war and/or persecution, health issues, or any other reason.

Our Programme is aimed at women who wish to return to professional level work in any sector.

What can I expect?

Following acceptance onto the Programme:

  • You will be sent details of your four 90-minute workshops and will be invited to join a 1 hour Q&A Zoom briefing session the week before your workshops start
  • You will attend a series of four small group, interactive, weekly online coaching and skills training workshops to support and accelerate your return to work
  • You will be invited to join a 1 hour Zoom check-in session with your cohort and coach 3 weeks after your last workshop

Following the Programme, you will complete a self-evaluation to reflect on the support you have received and the progress you made with your return to work.

How do I register?

We are now open for registrations and places are limited! Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis to those who meet the eligibility criteria above. To register:

  • Complete a short form here
  • Once you have submitted your form, please separately email a copy of your proof of benefits OR refugee status and right to work in the UK or Ireland to  bursary@womenreturners.com

The closing date for registrations is Wednesday 15 February (midnight).
We will be reviewing registrations regularly and will confirm your place on the Programme within 2 weeks of your registration.


If you have any questions regarding The Women Returners Bursary Programme, please email us at bursary@womenreturners.com