Six months of our virtual service: Karla’s story

There hasn’t been a day in 2020 where we haven’t helped a woman who has needed our support.

Making the decision to close our doors in March was one of the hardest things we’ve had to do as a charity, but no one rallies like Smart Works does. In just one day we launched our virtual service, offering interview coaching over the phone and sending out clothing care packages to women in need.

In the last six months we’ve sent out 400 parcels of work wear for women ahead of their interviews and provided 500 interview coaching sessions over the phone.

Karla was one of the women who we’ve supported during lockdown, receiving the full Smart Works service from the safety of her own home.

After working in the aviation industry for over 20 years, Karla was sadly made redundant during lockdown. She came to us in July for a Career Coaching appointment, where she worked with one of our expert volunteers to identify some tangible goals and next steps in her journey back to work.

Karla followed the advice given to her, working hard to enrol in lots of courses and keep applying for jobs, and soon enough was invited to three different interviews.

Having been in her previous role for so many years, she was worried about what to expect next. She was also nervous about what to wear as she had always worn a uniform to work and didn’t have any smart clothes.

Karla got in touch with us again and was immediately booked in for an Interview Preparation appointment, providing her with some additional coaching and a parcel of workwear sent straight to her door. After her appointment Karla said:

“I was so overwhelmed. I already felt more confident the second I tried the outfit on, and it all fits perfect. This alongside the coaching and the interview pack I keep reading over has made such a difference to my confidence and I’m truly grateful.”

Karla was offered all three roles and is now working with Royal Mail. She added:

“The whole experience has been amazing, and I cannot thank you enough, from the advice to the interview outfit.”

We have one mission and that is to help any woman who needs us land the job, whatever it might be. Our virtual service is now six months old, and we are proud to have supported hundreds of women like Karla all across the UK.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, from our dedicated staff team to our wonderful volunteers, and all the individuals who have donated their favourite pieces of clothing to our wardrobe. We couldn’t do it without you.