About Us

Smart Works Greater Manchester opened in June 2015 with a vision of bringing the dressing and interview coaching service to women in our region.

After a year of operation, we have seen almost 250 women and are proud to say that of those we have been able to contact, over 70% have succeeded at getting a job.

“The lady that helped me dress was very supportive with a great eye for the detail.  Just having someone to listen and talk to about frustrations whilst looking for work helped immensely.  I left feeling more positive and confident about the future.”

SMART WORKS CLIENT

We currently see over 8 women per week who come to us for an interview-appropriate outfit to wear to their job interview.  We give our clients a complete outfit of clothes and accessories (theirs to keep) and we provide one-to-one preparation training so they feel more confident and start believing in their own ability to succeed.

The two hours our clients spend with us can be transformative.

All of our Smart Works service delivery is provided by our team of over 35 highly skilled, fully trained volunteers and all our stock is donated through other working women or comes direct from our retail partners such as Hobbs, Whistles, Next, Evans and Bobbi Brown.

Introducing the team behind Smart Works Greater Manchester

We are grateful to our trustees and staff for their hard work on behalf of Smart Works Greater Manchester.

  • Louise Parrott-Bates is Chair of Smart Works Greater Manchester and works as the CEO of Pure Innovations where she brings over 28 years’ experience in the Health and Social Care sector as a qualified social worker, with a background of older people and children services, and latterly disability services.

  • Rachel Jones is a trustee at Smart Works Manchester and has worked as the Business Development Manager at Pure Innovations for 14 years and has extensive knowledge of sourcing, writing, and securing external funding and Local Authority Contracts.  She supports Managers to ensure contract compliance, ensure that standards are adhered to, oversees all new and additional business developments.  Rachel has extensive knowledge of the Business Environment and sound Financial, Auditing and Marketing Skills.  Rachel is qualified with a BA (Hons) in Business.

  • Alison Bowcott-McGrath is a trustee at Smart Works Manchester and is Founder and Managing Director of Bo-Concepts Ltd based in Cheadle.  Bo-Concepts are proud ambassadors of the high street with a mission: ‘we bring space to life’. Being experts in promotional space management, they have supported growth on UK high streets for the past 10 years by increasing footfall and generating community engagement.

  • Helen White is a trustee at Smart Works Manchester and brings to the Board an in depth knowledge of marketing and PR. She began her career in Stockport with the Messenger Newspaper Group and, after spells with both the national press and broadcast media, she became Head of Marketing with an insurance company before moving into the world of advertising, directing campaigns for many large UK companies. Helen’s knowledge of Stockport, its thriving and diverse business community and belief in the opportunities for growth led to Helen co-founding Marketing Stockport, an independent organisation which promotes Stockport businesses with a strong, combined voice.

  • Sue Weighell is Treasurer and a trustee at Smart Works Manchester, is a Chartered Accountant and freelance finance professional who works with organisations on their financial strategy and business development.  The work undertaken ranges from producing a business plan and budget to monitoring that plan with regular management information.  Work also includes selection and implementation of accounting software, improvements to processes and educating staff to produce accurate and timely management information.  Sue also uses information from the financial reports to recommend improvements to the business that impact on profitability and often works with clients on a regular basis in an FD type role. Sue works with a wide range of businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

  • Clive Wood is a trustee at Smart Works Manchester and a Solicitor for CGQ Law with over 30 years’ experience in his field. Clive specializes in private client divorce & ancillary relief.

  • Fiona Reekie is a trustee at Smart Works Manchester a Sports Fashion and Business Consultant having spent over 25 years in the industry working with Brands such as Nike, as Vice President of Product and Merchandising for Nike Europe, and Reebok, as Product Director. Throughout her career Fiona has always committed time in the not-for-profit sector fundraising in areas such as Sport for Social Change, and Sustainable energy as well as mentoring women in non-profit organisations. She is also a qualified holistic therapist.  Fiona began with Smart Works as volunteer dresser and coach and continues in this as well as her work as a Trustee.