Tina’s Story 💙

We recently caught up with Tina, a former client, who we met over a year ago, after she fled her home in Ukraine amidst the war, in search of a safer life in the UK.

For Tina, settling in a new country was a struggle. She had to leave her life behind, find schools for her children, and look for a new job for herself. “It felt like starting life anew.”

Lacking confidence, not having secured employment, she came to Smart Works where we supported her with clothing and coaching to help her look and feel her best at a crucial time.

Soon after, we heard the amazing news that Tina had landed a job. She said, “After I came to Smart Works, a switch turned on in my head, and I realised I’ve got this, and I deserve it. Getting a job is not just a matter of luck, I know I made it happen, and it’s a great start to a new life for my family and me.”

We were thrilled to hear about all of her success in her current role and how she now feels “confident about her future and her ability to support her family independently.”

Click here to find out more about Tina’s journey.

The Smart Works Summer Shop with Covent Garden is back! ☀️

We’re thrilled to be returning to Covent Garden for a second year with a seasonal pop-up shop in a new location. Join us from 3rd to 23rd August for the ultimate feel-good shopping experience.

You can expect to shop your favourite brands at up to 70% off RRP and feel great knowing that 100% of proceeds will go towards supporting unemployed women to get the job and transform their lives.

Drop by and join us in using Fashion as a Force for Good. You can find us at 62 Neal Street, Covent Garden 11am-7pm Monday-Saturday and 11am-6pm Sunday.

Smart Works and IntoUniversity

For the last four years, we are proud to have partnered with IntoUniversity to provide interview coaching and clothing to young women interviewing for their Big City, Bright Future scheme.

IntoUniversity provides local learning centres where young people are inspired to achieve. At each local centre IntoUniversity offers an innovative programme that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration. Big City, Bright Future offer paid work experience opportunities with global firms in competitive industries such as law, finance and technology.

This years cohort was our biggest yet, and our London centres opened for evening and weekend appointment throughout March. Our volunteers loved meeting all the young women, and the centres were buzzing with excitement as they all found their perfect interview outfits! The interview coaching also helped them feel much more confident about the upcoming interviews.

“I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. I feel very confident with my outfit choice and much more confident about my interview as I now know more about what to expect. Thank you very much for all of your help.”– Feyza

You can read more about our partnership in this amazing case study produced by IntoUniversity here.

The Big Give 2022

This year, we were proud to have been chosen as a recipient of the first-ever Big Give Women and Girls Match fund. From the 8th-15th March, every donation to Smart Works on the Big Give platform was doubled- one donation, double the impact!

Our goal was to raise enough money to open a brand new centre in South London. We are pleased to announce that we reached our target, raising £51,115! This will help us to reach more women across the capital and support them with our transformative service.

We are looking to open our South London centre later this year- watch this space for news, and if you would like to be kept updated please email london@smartworks.org.uk.

Coming together with our volunteer community

After two years of virtual events, we were delighted to host our 2022 Volunteer Conference in our North London Centre on the 16th March.

Volunteers are at the heart of our service- they deliver our dressing and coaching appointments, ensuring our clients feel confident and ready for their interviews. Our wardrobe volunteers sort through hundreds of donations and stock deliveries each week, and our admin volunteers help us to keep everything running behind the scenes.

Our Annual Conference is an important moment to bring together our volunteer team and celebrate our achievements of the last year, as well as look ahead to the next. We had productive and engaging discussions around doubling the number of women we support each year, ensuring a best in class service for our clients and plans for opening a third London centre in South London.

Thank you to all who attended, and to all the volunteers who make our service so incredible.