A message from our Patron

“It’s been such an honour to meet and learn from so many talented women in the Smart Works network over the years, and recently to see the amazing work they’re doing to adapt their programs to the reality of this pandemic. Their ability to continue to empower women and help them harness the confidence they need to succeed during this time is inspiring.” – a message to our clients from the Duchess of Sussex.

Since moving to a virtual service six weeks ago we have delivered 200 hours of support to our clients.

From the volunteers who have been delivering coaching online to the staff working behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly – the energy, passion and commitment has been overwhelming.

We couldn’t do this without the support of our community and on the 27th March we were honoured that our patron, The Duchess of Sussex kindly volunteered some time to speak with one of our clients ahead of her interview, offering words of advice and encouragement. During the session the Duchess praised her for being “such a beacon of hope” and “focusing on getting through this”.

When asked about her patronage she said:

“It’s a pleasure to support them, you see how great they do and how many people they help and that’s what it’s all about. I’ve been really proud to be able to be their patron, but it’s an easy yes when you have such incredible women helping you.”

After her session with the Duchess our client had this to say:

“I just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to you, the Duchess and the whole team at Smart Works for making this possible for women all around the UK, because to see such work is truly inspiring and uplifting. And thank you for the super helpful interview tips – I will be using them for years to come!”

The Smart Works service is available for any woman who is unemployed and has a confirmed job interview, referrals are made by our employment support partners including women’s charities and Job Centre Plus. Our mission is to help anyone who needs it, no matter the circumstances.

Smart Works Chief Executive Officer, Kate Stephens said:

“Smart Works has always been about building a community of empowered women and at times like this community has never been more important. Thanks to the help of everyone involved in Smart Works, including the Duchess, we have been able to rise to the challenge and continue to find new ways to deliver our service, enabling women to feel confident and transform their lives.”