Lessons Learnt in Lockdown

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    As we reflect on the first quarter of the financial year, we wanted to share a short update on how Smart Works has adapted our interview coaching and clothing service during the pandemic. This has been an important milestone and we remain so grateful to our funders, include the Regent’s Place Community Fund, which has allowed us to flex and respond to the needs of our clients in these difficult circumstances.

    Since lockdown began, wresponded nimbly and transitioned to a virtual service, not missing a single day of service delivery. In the first quarter, we delivered 275 appointments and are starting to see the number of appointments pick up as normality slowly starts to resume.

    We have also piloted new Career Coaching sessions. These appointments are targeted at unemployed women who are struggling to secure an interview and are an opportunity to work with a volunteer interview coach to identify tangible next steps. The feedback has been incredibly positive, with some clients already coming back to us with a confirmed interview.

    We recently supported Iwona, before her interview as a Community Mental Health Nurse, who said that her appointment at Smart Works left her feeling ‘far more confident and positive about the outcome of the interview’ and that ‘the world was a friendlier place’, which perfectly encapsulates what we are doing for unemployed women during these difficult times.

    We are proud to share this update, but we will continue to adapt and innovate, particularly as the situation evolves. We are planning for the slow and safe return of our face-to-face service delivery, but have realised the potential of our virtual service. With travel to our centres no longer necessary, suddenly our reach is genuinely UK wide, and we look forward to updating on how this new offering develops.

    Thank you so much to the Regent’s Place Community Fund for supporting Smart Works.

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