Smart Works is a charity helping women get back into work by providing interview clothing and mentoring.
The women who come to Smart Works are referred from job centres, mental health charities, women's refuges, homeless shelters, prison services, care services, and youth organisations. So imagine how nerve-racking that first interview must feel.
At the heart of Smart Works is a dressing and coaching service designed to help their clients be the best version of themselves at such a crucial moment in their lives. To find a quality interview outfit that will fill them with confidence, each client receives a bespoke dressing consultation with two trained volunteers. This is free of charge, and the clothes are theirs to keep. This is followed by a one-to-one coaching session with an expert interview coach. As a result, each client receives valuable interview preparation, helping to unlock their potential and to succeed at their interview.
The Smart Works story began in North London in 2013. Using this original model, Smart Works centres are now available in Reading, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Newcastle. To offer their services the charity relies on volunteers and donated interview clothing. And this is where we are delighted to have found a home for our quality t-shirt seconds! Our seconds usually have very minor flaws, so are still perfect for layering under jackets or dresses.
We work with Smart Works Newcastle, but all their centres rely on clothing donated by businesses and individuals. So new and old clothing is welcome. The only criteria are that it is quality pieces suitable for interviews.
Sara Davies is the fabulous Ambassador for Smart Works Newcastle. Photo credit @corrinaatkinsonphotography for Smart Works Newcastle
Our women's t-shirts are more suitable for interview clothing than our men's t-shirts, which is why we support Smart Works Newcastle. However, two other charities that work in the same way with men are London based Suited & Booted and Birmingham based Suited For Sucess.
All of these charities are reliant on support from volunteer mentors and donated quality interview clothing. If you do not have a centre near you, they all accept clothing donations by post too.