Our Patrons and Ambassadors
We are enormously grateful to our patrons and ambassadors, who lend us their support, advice and profile to help raise awareness of Smart Works.
Betty Jackson CBE
Betty is one of the UK’s top fashion designers, designing clothes for both women and men. Betty has run her own fashion business Betty Jackson Ltd for over 30 years, as well as launching the Autograph collection for Marks and Spencer in 2000 and more recently Betty Jackson Black for Debenhams. Betty has won numerous British and international design awards. She was on the Board of Trustees of Creative Skillset and served as Master of the RSA's Royal Designers for Industry from 2015 - 2017.
Jennifer is an actress, comedian, writer, producer and generally much-loved media star, best known for creating and starring in shows such as the Absolutely Fabulous, Comic Strip, French and Saunders, Jam and Jerusalem and many others. Younger fans are familiar with Jennifer as the voice of the evil fairy godmother in Shrek.
Jane Shepherdson MBE
Jane Shepherdson is a leading figure in fashion retail, having been CEO of Whistles and before that Brand Director at Topshop. Jane is also Creative Advisor to Oxfam and a patron of the Almeida Theatre in North London. Jane is involved in the promotion and support of young designers through the London College of Fashion's Centre of Fashion Enterprise, and she helped to promote Fair Trade fashion to a wider audience as a Board member of Peopletree until 2013. Jane was awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to fashion retail.
Emma is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. She presents the flagship three-hour morning news and interviews programme on BBC 5Live. From the Prime Minister to Melinda Gates, Emma has made a name for herself through her firm but fair interviewing style across politics, current affairs, religion, technology and culture. Emma co-presents Sunday Morning Live on BBC One, a weekly topical debate TV programme, makes documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service, and writes a weekly column in The Sunday Times. She is also a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour - and as the former Women’s Editor of The Telegraph where she set up the women’s section - feminism and helping women help themselves are passions close to her heart. That’s why she signed up as a dressing volunteer for Smart Works nearly 10 years ago and continues to proudly dress women to this day.
We are hugely grateful for the time, experience and expertise that our ambassadors bring to their roles.
Isabel Spearman OBE
Isabel worked as PR Director for the British accessories brand Anya Hindmarch for 8 years before becoming Special Adviser to Samantha Cameron from 2010 to 2015 covering 2 General Elections. Isabel now runs her brand and image consultancy, Spearman Consulting. Having worked closely with Smart Works during her time at Downing Street, she is a passionate supporter of the charity.
“I love the simplicity of what Smart Works does; helping women regain their confidence through their image. It is brilliantly effective and the women that walk into a dressing and mentoring session are completely different to the women that walk out”.
Caroline Graham, Corporate Ambassador
Caroline Graham is a Director at Barclays and leads strategic global change programmes. Caroline is passionate about supporting women and is Co-Chair of Barclays ‘Win’ gender network. Caroline is also founder of the Barclays Win Assistants Forum and set up Barclays women’s network in India while there on a three year secondment. Caroline is also co-founder and head of online women’s platform WeAreTheCity India and is an Associate Board Member of Gender Networks.
“I am truly inspired by the support that Smart Works offers women trying to get back into work. Providing a service that helps women look and feel fabulous so that they perform well in an interview situation is incredibly powerful and will have a life-changing impact on their futures. In my view there is no greater joy than seeing a woman regain her confidence and moving forward in her chosen career.”
Samantha is the Founder and Creative Director of Cefinn, a contemporary womanswear brand that launched its first collection in February 2017. Before that Samantha served as Creative Director at British accessories brand Smythson, from 1997 until May 2010, winning a British Glamour Magazine Award for Best Accessory Designer in 2009. Samantha previously volunteered as an interview coach at Smart Works and is a passionate supporter of the charity's mission.
“I am delighted to become an Ambassador of a charity I know so well and I hope I can raise awareness of the brilliant work they do.”