Glitz and Glamour, helping women help women

On Wednesday 1st November, Leicester saw its second gathering of a network of business women, all dedicated to helping women from low incomes return to work. The event which was in aid of Smart works was held at the glittering City Rooms in Leicester and supported by some of Leicester’s top businesses including including Hastings Direct, Mattioli Woods, BT, Next PLC, Arriva Bus, Tutti Rouge, along with local charities including Soft Arts.

Karen Orton, Director/BUSINESS OWNER  of Scoutess Consultancy, which specialises in recruiting across call centre, business support and hospitality sectors, started the network in the summer, with first event in June. “It has been wonderful to see the network grow as we gain support and look at how we can help women advance here in Leicester.  I know how lack of self belief can affect a woman at interview, as I’m recruiter, so to partner with a charity that offers coaching support, is great.

Scoutess Consultancy, hosted the event along with Tutti Rouge. Jessica Prebble, Creative Director said “I know the importance of feeling confident in what your wearing, as I see this every day in my role as Creative Director, and so I’m delighted to continue supporting this wonderful cause.”

The event was a great success.  With over 30 volunteers, helping to put on the fashion show,  models paraded down the glittering catwalk, courtesy of Next and ASOS. “We wanted to create a fashion show that showcased real women wearing stylish work wear. Work wear that is affordable, on trend and stylist, outfits that make women feel good about themselves, no matter what size they are, or what work they do”, said Karen Orton. “Our styling team were amazing, with many late nights going into putting the event together.”

The evening also had shopping, bra fittings and mini pamper sessions with more than 10 retailers getting involved, and helping to raise funds. Smart works talked through their service and how they are helping make a real difference to women, whilst Karen passionately about her reason for partnering with them, and how she is looking at launching a mentoring connection programme in Leicester. “I am committed to helping raise funds for Smart Works, whilst we also help aspiring women advance within their career here in Leicester. We are excited to be partnering with local businesses to host our future events, which includes a leadership event in January and a mentoring connection programme.”  The evening ended with Jesscia Prebble, thanking all the pop-ups which included Stella&Dot, Amelia Noir and Mine Jeweller and a special mention to Sarah Jackson, from My Fasionforecast, for her styling support.

Items including pamper session, handbags and champagne were raffled, donations from Yours Clothing, Tutti Rouge, Maiyango and Debenhams, all helped to make it a success.

The final event was the sale, with guests being able to buy the items from the fashion show, which was a real success.

Funds are being counted but it’s likely to break the £700 raised at the last event at Veenos’. “For us its about raising awareness so that the service can continue and grow, of which clothing donations are a huge part. We had many women donate clothes, whilst holding mini clothing drives at work, which is great. This means that we can also donate our remaining outfits to Smart Works, which we will be doing over the next few days.”

Huge thank you to Karen Orton, Jessica Prebble and everyone who was involved in hosting this event for Smart Works, including all the companies who donated, volunteers supporting on the night and those on the stalls.