Search

Islington empowerment charity helps women look and act the part at interviews

17:19 14 October 2016

MP Emily Thornberry (third right) with CEO Kate Stephens (second right), volunteers and a client (middle)

MP Emily Thornberry (third right) with CEO Kate Stephens (second right), volunteers and a client (middle)

Archant

Women across the country are being helped into employment by an Islington charity that offers training and wardrobe fittings ahead of job interviews.

The donated clothes available to clientsThe donated clothes available to clients

Smart Works helps a diverse range of women, including the homeless, ex-offenders and those who have had career breaks due to illness, bereavement or motherhood.

CEO Kate Stephens emphasises empowerment as a key aspect of the charity’s work.

“It’s about providing women with interview clothes but much more about the self belief that clothes can give a woman,” she said.

The diversity of clients’ destinations matches that of their backgrounds, with the charity having assisted those going into retail, education, healthcare and law.

Women who use the charity’s services receive a dressing session in the charity’s wardrobe, where brands like Whistles and Hobbs have donated clothes.

Dressing volunteer Claire Davis said it is also important that clients feel special and can enjoy their session.

“Many of the women we help have not had the focus on them and their needs for a very long time,” said Ms Davis.

After the dressing session clients receive one-on-one training to hone their interview skills.

Ann Fossey, chairwoman of PR firm Good Relations and interview volunteer at Smart Works, said increasing the confidence of clients so they can secure a job is key.

“There’s a real emphasis on women helping and empowering women. We help such a wide group of women and finding out someone you’ve helped has gone on to get a job is incredibly rewarding,” said Ms Fossey.

Emily Thornberry MP praised the charity while visiting today, saying it did an excellent job bringing out their clients abilities and self belief.

“It’s not about creating a new woman but allowing a woman to be herself,” said Ms Thornberry.

Over half of Smart Works’ clients get the job they applied for, and the charity brings successful clients in for second dressings to provide them with a wardrobe to see them through the first few weeks of work.

Women wishing to use the Smart Works need to have an interview lined up and be referred through one of the charity’s partners, including Job Centre and other employment agencies.

Smart Works now has offices in five cities but Ms Stephens noted the charity’s strong links to the local area.

“We’re very proud to be an Islington charity. We’re continuing to expand but we’ll always be here,” said Ms Stephens.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

37 minutes ago

The town hall is planning to help clean Islington’s filthy air by installing 100 roadside electric charging points over the next year.

11:51

A mystery virus killed seven elderly care home residents in the space of a month.

11:04

Actress Helena Bonham Carter played a supporting role at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School as she joined a celebration to mark the end of a South African exchange.

22 minutes ago

Volunteers who help bereaved people through one of the most difficult times in their life have won an award for their work.

Yesterday, 09:00

The Overground line between Barking and Gospel Oak is set to reopen tomorrow.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A man is fighting for his life after a double stabbing in Upper Street last night.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A car has flipped in Green Lanes this morning, closing the road near Clissold Park.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Could Islington be the only authority in the country where the controlling party imposes a 4.99 per cent council tax rise – only for the opposition to suggest doubling it?

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now