Empowering unemployed women to succeed at interview and change their lives

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    Smart Works is a volunteer-led UK charity that dresses and coaches unemployed women for their job interview. Our aim is to empower women with the tools they need to succeed at interview, get the job and transform their lives.

    With the support of the Regent’s Place Community Fund, we are launching an outreach project that will support 50 unemployed women in NW1, W1W and W1T with the clothes, coaching and the confidence to succeed at interview and change their lives.   

    Each client is dressed in an outfit, hers to keep, by a trained dressing volunteer, followed by a one-to-one interview coaching session. Once a woman gets the job, she has her Second Dressing and receives a capsule working wardrobe, to wear until her first pay cheque comes through. Having re-entered the workplace, a client is invited to join the Network, meeting monthly in different corporate settings for tailored sessions which set her up for professional success. 

    The impact of the service is profound. In the last 12 months, 64% of women we were able to contact went on to succeed at their interview within a month of their visit, enabling them to gain financial independence and start a new chapter in their lives. This is particularly compelling as we support some of the most vulnerable women in society, referred to the service from prisons, refuges and mental health charities. 

    In our first six years, we have dressed and coached over 15,000 women, allowing us to develop a deep understanding of the needs of the women we serve.  

    The charity was honoured to be chosen for Royal Patronage by HRH The Duchess of Sussex in January 2019, shining a light on the work of the organisation and raising awareness so that more women can access a Smart Works centre nationwide. 

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    London, England