It was smiles all round as Mr James Puxley Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire and The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Reading; Councillor Sarah Hacker officially welcomed Smart Works to Reading at their launch event on 16th February.
Smart Works is a UK charity that is focussed on helping out-of-work women on low incomes get back into the workforce. They provide interview coaching, high quality interview clothes and styling advice. They help women to feel confident, look fabulous, succeed at their job interview and move on with their life. Smart Works Reading is based in London Street and boasts an impressive dressing area with racks of donated clothes, handbags and shoes from high street chains such as Hobbs and Evans as well as quality clothes donated from local businesses. Around 50% of the items are brand new.
Smart Works Reading, works closely with referral partners such as the Job Centre, Berkshire Women’s Aid and Elizabeth Fry. The service is free and the client gets to keep the outfit. If she gets the job, the client can return to have a second dressing where they provide her with a small capsule wardrobe to see her through to payday.
Smart Works first launched in London and was such a big success that they decided to roll out offices throughout the UK. Smart Works Reading opened in October 2015 and covers the Thames Valley area. They have achieved an impressive 60% success rate.
Reading Mayor, Councillor Sarah Hacker, attended the launch and gave her support to Smart Works’ mission. She said:
“I’m so glad Smart Works came to Reading. First impressions last. It should be that what you wear doesn’t matter but that’s not the reality of life.“
Mr James Puxley Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire explained: “Nothing big in this world is achieved by just one person. Achievements come when one adds together the sum of many parts and so I wish Smart Works every success as one of these parts. Together all these parts make a very important and vital contribution to the creation of a better society and community”