Who We Are
Smart Works is a UK charity that provides high quality interview clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need. We harness the power of clothes and confidence to allow a woman to be her best at a crucial moment in her life, giving her the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools required to succeed at interview and transform her life.
Women are referred to us from organisations such as job centres, work programmes, prisons, care homes, homeless shelters and mental health charities. Half have been unsuccessful in over 20 applications. A third have been turned down from over 50 jobs. All are suffering from a lack of confidence in their own abilities.
The tangible impact that our service has on a woman’s confidence is something we have the privilege to witness every day. The magic begins when she enters the dressing room and is styled into her interview outfit, hers to keep, by trained volunteers. She looks in the mirror and sees a new and impressive version of herself. This is followed by one-to-one interview coaching, after which 65% of our clients go on to get the job.
Named Social Action Charity of the Year 2017 at the National Charity Awards, it is our mission to ensure any woman who needs our help should be able to come to a Smart Works centre.
“I felt valued, cared for, even loved, helped to look fantastically dressed and to feel proud of my life experience and abilities.”SMART WORKS CLIENT
We have a team of over 350 trained volunteers across the UK who deliver our award-winning service to our clients – skilled, compassionate and brilliant people who dedicate their time to empower women to succeed.
Our wide range of high quality clothing is donated either from individuals or direct from retailers, and is then meticulously sorted and hung in our beautiful dressing rooms. We are environmentally conscious, and proud that everything which comes through our doors is given a new home.
We are incredibly proud that after visiting Smart Works, 64% of those clients we were able to contact went on to get the job.
Smart Works started in North London, which remains our HQ and busiest location. In November 2013, we opened our second centre in West London. We then set up the Smart Works model so that we could support more women across the UK.
The Smart Works service now operates across eight locations in the UK: North London, West London, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester, Reading, Newcastle, Birmingham and Leeds.
Smart Works Edinburgh opened in 2014, Manchester and Reading in 2015, Birmingham in 2016, Newcastle in 2018 and Leeds in 2019. Each centre works with clients, volunteers and supporters in their own region to bring the Smart Works service to life. All of us are united by a shared mission, a desire to collaborate and a commitment to bringing the very best quality service to every client we see.
In September 2019 we celebrated our sixth birthday and during this time have supported over 15, 000 women.
“I feel empowered. I didn’t know it was going to be like this. It’s life changing.”SMART WORKS CLIENT