Volunteering at Headway Essex


Here at Headway Essex, we couldn’t do the wonderful work that we do, without our amazing volunteers. Volunteering at Headway Essex can be very rewarding and we want to take a moment to highlight just why we love them so much, starting with Colchester’s resident chef, Lizzie Hendy.

Cookery had always been her passion and in July 2003, she was undertaking an NVQ in Catering, alongside a business course at college. A busy lady, she also worked as a Veterinary nurse at a local vets in Highwoods Colchester and it was through this that she met Headway Essex.


At the time, Headway Essex held a popular event, known as the Dogathon. Lizzie’s Veterinary practice attended as the vets on duty for the event. On the day, Lizzie got to know about the amazing work at Headway Essex. Sadly having a mother suffering from Multiple sclerosis, she understood the importance of respite care, rehabilitation and specialist support. She signed up to the Newsletter and shortly afterwards, saw an advert looking for cooks to volunteer at the Day Centre in Colchester.


With Lizzie’s passion, culinary skills and growing interest in our charity, she applied for the role! 20 years later and she is still supporting us every Wednesday.

In that time, Lizzie has been an incredible member of the Headway Essex family. Attending every week to mix up amazing, home-cooked meals for everyone at the centre, not to mention lots of sweet treats and baked goods!

Lizzie’s cooking became so popular that people even started to request their most wanted dishes. Wednesday lunch times became a firm favorite in the calendar.

During the summer months, Headway Essex replace their groups with day trips and excursions for the attendees. Lizzie kindly offered to hold a BBQ at her house on the Wednesdays in replacement of the usual schedule. As time has gone on, with Headway Essex’s client base growing, holding the get together at her house has started to prove a little trickier.

Lizzie, however, being the wonderful woman that she is, decided that instead of stopping the gathering, she would fundraise for a trip out instead!


Lizzie’s cakes are always a winner so each week last year, she began to raffle a cake to raise money for their summer trip, topped up by donations made through a dog walking service she ran in spare time.

Down to the incredible generosity of her pooch’s parents and her delicious cakes, Lizzie raised enough money to arrange a meal at the Anchor Pub in Stratford St Mary in the Summer of 2023. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.

The trip was such a success that Lizzie is looking to do this again in summer 2024. We hope to be able to update you with more exciting news on their adventures soon!

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