Jane Forbes, Chair of pro-manchester and Partner at PwC, has selected Stockport based Smart Works Greater Manchester as her Charity of the Year.

Over the course of her term in office, pro-manchester will raise funds and awareness for the charity through a range of events including their flagship annual dinner and winter social.

Smart Works Greater Manchester dresses and coaches unemployed women for interview success.  It provides high quality work clothing, styling advice and interview training to help women look and feel confident in their own abilities at a vital moment before a job interview.  Set up in June 2015, 70% of the clients who use the service go on to succeed at their interview.

Forbes says,

“We are really pleased to be supporting Smart Works Greater Manchester as our nominated charity this year. Smart Works has made such a positive change for so many women, unlocking confidence and instilling self-belief as they prepare for employment.”

This is the latest boost for Smart Works who were recently awarded Social Action Charity of the Year 2017 at the Charity Awards and Small Charity Big Impact 2017 at the North West Charity Awards.

The service at Smart Works Greater Manchester is open to any women in the Greater Manchester area who has a confirmed job interview for a paid position or a year-long apprenticeship.

Appointments to Smart Works Greater Manchester are made by referral only. The charity work with many referral agencies, including Jobcentre Plus, work programme providers and charities.  They refer women who need help with interview clothes and confidence-building in the run up to their interview.

All Smart Works dressing and interview coaching service is delivered by a team of highly skilled volunteers.

“A wonderful organisation and an empowering experience. I feel more reassured about how I present myself in the actual interview.” SMART WORKS CLIENT

It can be as rewarding for the volunteers as it is for the clients to be involved in an organisation that is promoting self-belief, confidence and positive encouragement to women.

There are four main areas where volunteers help at Smart Works:

Dressing volunteer

Dressing volunteers help our clients find the right clothes for their interview.  To be a good dressing volunteer you need an eye for style, great people skills and plenty of patience.  The minimum commitment is one day per week.

Interview volunteer

Interview volunteers help clients prepare for their interview by focussing on their skills, their confidence and their presentation. You will need a background in HR, recruitment or senior management to join this programme. The minimum commitment is one day per month.

Stockroom volunteer

Stockroom volunteers keep the whole system running smoothly by sorting, steaming and hanging our stock and making sure clothes are immaculately presented.  You need to be highly organised and tidy, love clothes and have lots of energy.  The minimum commitment is one day per week.

Administration volunteer

Admin volunteers help in the office by answering phones, greeting clients, inputting data, filing and helping with other office duties.  You need excellent customer service skills and general office skills.  The minimum commitment is one day per week.

You can find some Smart Works volunteer profiles here.

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee of, or a volunteer for Smart Works Greater Manchester, please contact Louise Parrott-Bates

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