Throughout these challenging and uncertain times, Smart Works Reading has not stopped supporting women who need our help. We are now looking forward to reopening our centre to clients in September.

Still supporting women in need

Since lockdown started, we have successfully delivered our dressing and coaching service remotely. We have continued to work with volunteers, supporters and corporate sponsors, and launched our first online fundraising campaign, #Give5for5. Smart Works Reading is still supporting women succeed in their job interviews and move forward with their lives.

We take great pride in the determination and support of all our staff and volunteers over the past few months. They have continued to work towards helping women secure paid positions at a time when the employment landscape is more unpredictable than ever.

Thank you for your support and patience

We are also very grateful for everyone’s support during these challenging times. We recognise that the current situation affects everyone, but you still choose to help us and we are extremely thankful for that.

Together, we have made a difference in the lives of the women who have been the most affected by the current situation.

Finally – since we had to temporarily shut our centre – we owe you a big thank you for your patience, but the wait is now over.

We are happy to announce that our offices will open their doors again in September!

A safe and secure reopening

We want everyone who comes to Smart Works to feel happy, comfortable and safe. The wellbeing of all our visitors is our priority. Here are some of the ways we are ensuring the safety of our staff, volunteers, and clients:

• We ask that anyone who displays symptoms of Covid-19 not enter our office. For clients, we can still support you by providing our services remotely

• Our staff and volunteers will keep 2 metres away from clients at all times

• Clients will now book in and complete paperwork online or on the phone with our help

• We have taken strict measures to create a safe space, such as by installing hand sanitising points, and signs encouraging social distancing and the frequent washing of hands. We have also allocated separate toilets for staff and visitors

• Unwanted but tried-on clothing will be left for 72 hours and steamed prior to being put back into the wardrobe. We will clean all tried-on handbags, shoes and other accessories with antiseptic wipes and leave the off the shelves for 72 hours before being returned

• There will be a minimum of 30 minute intervals between client dressing appointments so that we can disinfect all areas and surfaces used by clients and volunteers

• We are supporting more vulnerable clients (e.g. people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women etc.) by continuing to offer remote appointments and clothing packages sent directly to clients’ home.

We want to thank Medi-Clean who professionally deep cleaned our building and sprayed anti-bacterial ‘fogging’ throughout.

We are inviting all visitors to wear masks when in the building

Staying safe

Smart Works Reading will to continue to adapt to any new government advice and guidance. Your health and safety is, and always will be, our priority. We will continue to monitor our operation carefully and we will not hesitate to adapt our approach if it is not safe to continue with our original plan.

We look forward to welcoming you back!