Yesterday I went to Smart Works https://smartworks.org.uk/birmingham-smart-works/which is situated within BVSC office in Birmingham, a charity set up for unemployed women who have an interview coming up and do not have any smart clothing to wear. They dress, give interview training and follow-up after the interview with another set of clothing, to fit the ladies up for their new employment. Amazingly 67% of women they help are successful in getting the job.
I took items of clothing and chatted to Ann Powell as she showed me around their set-up. Smart Works is currently working very successfully with Stafford Prison, helping women, who are often well qualified following excellent training provision within the prison service, to equip themselves for their next step into work. And many young care leavers come in for clothing and need not only smart clothes but undies as well. There are lots of heart-rending stories to tell.
For obvious reasons I could not take photographs of clients, but I did take some of the office.
However, Smart Works have just gained Megan Markle as a Royal Patron, and Ann told me that since then the phone hasn’t stopped ringing and clothes are coming in faster and faster. I was enthralled by the enthusiasm and genuine help given to women by Smart Works.
I can’t encourage others enough to donate or volunteer. “Women Helping Women” go for it! #smartworks