About Us

Smart Works Newcastle has been supporting women back into employment since April 2018. Our clients come from a range of different backgrounds and age groups. In order to use the service, all we require is a confirmed job interview for a woman to attend an appointment.

I had an amazing experience at Smart Works. I know exactly what to do in the interview now and have lovely new clothes. My stylist went through lots of different clothes until we found my perfect outfit. The volunteers were so supportive and treated me like a professional.

Smart Works client

Our clients are given a complete outfit of clothes and accessories (theirs to keep) and we provide one-to-one interview coaching so they feel more confident, believing in their own ability to succeed. The two hours our clients spend with us can be transformative, we give women the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools they require to succeed at interview and start a new chapter of their life.

We are proud to say we are a volunteer led organisation. We have a team of highly skilled, fully trained, professional volunteers. In addition all our stock is donated through professional women & organisations or comes direct from our retail partners including Hobbs and Evans.

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

  • Helen Sinclair

    Helen is the Chairperson of Smart Works Newcastle. Helen works as the Employer Liaison Adviser at General Medical Council, having previously worked as an Adviser the National Clinical Assessment Centre and as a Professional Standards Inspector for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Helen has also volunteered as a mentor for other women through The Aspire Foundation. Helen has lived in the North East for many years and is eager to support unemployed women in the region.

  • Katie Machin

    Katie is the Treasurer for Smart Works Newcastle. Katie is originally from the North East and she recently returned to the region having started her career, as a Family Law Solicitor, in London. Katie has experience volunteering with the Royal Voluntary Service in London. Katie learnt about Smart Works when working in London and is committed to bringing the service to her home region.

  • Amy Davies

    Amy is a Trustee for Smart Works Newcastle. Amy works for the City Council as a Complaints Manager and she also runs her own vintage clothing company. Amy volunteers once a week with Oxfam and has used her vintage brand, and her fashion network in the region, to fundraise for charities she cares about.

  • Jane Hartley

    Jane has many years of experience working in the NE voluntary sector primarily with a focus on health & wellbeing and was the founder of the regional charity Pioneering Care Partnership.  Prior to becoming Chief Executive of VONNE she was a trustee and Chair at VONNE and worked as a consultant supporting VCSE organisations across the North East. She is a Trustee of the Greggs Foundation and Family Help, a domestic abuse charity in her home town of Darlington, Co. Durham.

  • Helena Clennell

    Helena is a Partner in PwC’s Management Consulting business based in Newcastle who works with a broad range of organisations in the UK and globally to help them improve efficiency and effectiveness, in particular focusing on HR, Finance, Procurement and Customer Contact functions.  Helena therefore brings significant experience of how organisations work and what they look for in an employee.  Throughout her career she has also spent significant time building teams and coaching team members as well as interviewing prospective employees.  Prior to working in consulting, Helena worked in the government sector and was involved in the implementation of a number of back to work programmes.

    She is originally from Sheffield but has lived in the North East since 2006 with her husband and step children.  Helena’s passions outside of work include travel, reading, cooking and clothes!

  • Carol Meredith

    Carol Meredith has worked for many years in the charity sector in a variety of executive and non-executive posts, and has been both ‘gamekeeper and poacher’ of charitable funds. Her previous roles include managing charities, a trustee of two regional arts organisations, a national committee member on the BIG Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme, and a grants assessor for many regional and national charitable funders.

    As a freelance consultant for almost 20 years she helps charities with business planning, evaluation, fundraising, and undertakes interim project management.  Her interest in women’s issues started many decades ago as the first woman in post on a black women’s training scheme in Liverpool and she believes passionately in women supporting women.

  • Caron Deans

    Caron is a senior HR practitioner with experience across a range of industries including financial services and manufacturing. Experienced in supporting organisations through change with particular strength in developing talent, leadership coaching, colleague engagement and wellbeing. She is passionate about people fulfilling their potential through work and life.

  • Anna Cook

    Anna Cook is a trustee of Smart Works Newcastle bringing with her 20 years’ experience working in Publishing, Technology and Media sectors in the UK and internationally. Currently Director of Customer Service for Sky, Anna has held a number of senior roles in FTSE 100 companies covering marketing, CSR, HR, communications, change and operations. Passionate about gender diversity, Anna’s currently leading the charge to get more women into senior and technology positions at Sky and speaks regularly at schools to inspire young women to get into business.

  • Michelle Robson

    Michelle is the Lead Manager for Smart Works Newcastle, running our service for clients, managing volunteers and looking after relationships with referral partners, corporate supporters and retailers since April 2018.

    “It is a real honour to manage this incredible charity to support women across the North East into employment. In just two hours our skilled volunteers really can change a woman’s life”.