By Molly Carr and Sam Brooke Wilkinson
New branch of charity, Smart Works, set to open in Mabgate area of Leeds.
A new branch of the women’s charity, Smart Works, has been opened in the Mabgate area of Leeds to help unemployed women get back into work by providing smart clothes for women for job interviews, as well as offering styling advice and interview training.
The charity says this will help support women in feeling more confident and increasing their chances of getting a job.
Smart Works is backed by Megan Markle who became a patron in January 2019. ‘I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good’ says HRH, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
Smart Works’ official website says that ‘over 94% of our clients reported that a visit to Smart Works significantly increased their confidence in succeeding at their job interview’.
‘We are delighted to be supporting women across West Yorkshire, providing work outfits from our stock of high-quality clothes donated by the public, local businesses and retailers.’
St Vincent’s charity, also based in Mabgate believe that the area may not be fitting for this type of charity. ‘It’s not a very good area. [People] come in here thieving’ says Madge Cass of St Vincent’s. ‘There’s two empty boxes of kitchen tools’ that Cass says were stolen along with pairs of shoes.
However, John Miller, also at St Vincent’s says ‘it is a good idea’ but ‘it should be everyone not just one group of people’
‘Smart Works changes women’s lives. Every woman we see is dressed and coached by our volunteers so that she feels exceptional.’Juliet Hughes-Hallett, Chair and Founder of Smart Works.
Smart Works has gained various volunteers and is hosting a staff conference on Wednesday 6 November in preparation for their first clients next week.