Smart Works Greater Manchester’s Smart Night Out has raised over £10k for the charity helping women back into work.
Following the atrocious and evil killings at Manchester Arena, the organisers were determined to stand united and strong, beginning the evening with a minute’s silence in memory and respect for all those affected by last Monday evening’s life-changing event.
The first Smart Night Out took place at Manchester’s MacDonald hotel, where the 1920’s themed evening attracted over 180 glittering guests.
Organised by Aldemore, the evening was supported by a number of prominent Manchester companies and their colleagues including DWF, Co-op, WorldPay, RBS, Bruntwood, Hatters Promotions, Marketing Stockport and Rachel Bates Interiors.
The evening was compered by Marketing Stockport’s founder Helen White and a founder trustee of Smart Works Greater Manchester.
A magnum of Verve Clique champagne was awarded to the winner of Heads & Tails competition and the Pledge Card draw.
Smart Works Greater Manchester was set up in 2015 by Louise Parrott-Bates, CEO of Pure Innovations who spoke with passion when she addressed the guests:
“I am so pleased to be able to welcome you all here this evening.
“The tragic events that took place at Manchester arena on Monday evening have without doubt had an impact on us all. The loss of innocent lives, the bottomless pit of grief, the total disruptions of families that will be ever lasting; all from an incomprehensible act of evil.
“Yet I feel grateful, so grateful for this City of Manchester and the people that came to help the suffering, wounded and dying; offering comfort, food, a bed for the night, or a taxi ride home. The amazing emergency services responding efficiently, effectively putting the people in need before themselves. In the midst of great darkness there was light, hope and a display of amazing love and togetherness.
“I, like most people I’m sure, reflected with gratitude that my family were safe and how very fragile and precious life is. We became starkly aware of how quickly and cruelly it can change in the blink of an eye.
“Life is a journey and together we can make the journey safer and easier for people if we work for the better together. At Smart Works we work with people along their journey to make their life just that little bit better; to give them a little more independence, a bit more confidence, a bit more money, a bit more fun. To gain a few more friends, connections and skills; to feel a sense of belonging and meaning because each and every one of us matter.
“We are all unique but together we can be better, stronger and when the journey of life takes an unexpected turn we can take heart that we have networks of support to help us.
“Like the people of Manchester, I am proud of the people who make Smart Works Greater Manchester a success, who make a positive difference to other’s lives every day.
“Thank you all for your support”.
Smart Works Greater Manchester’s Lead Manager, Fiona Gunnion, explained how Smart Works Greater Manchester has already made a huge difference:
“Since opening the Smart Works Manchester office in 2015 we have seen over 580 women and delivered over 710 appointments.
“All our service is delivered by an amazing team of 40 volunteers who donate their time to support women across Manchester back into employment.
“In 2017 we aim to see 500 women from across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, increasing our service by over 25%.
“It is also rewarding to hear feedback from our clients: ‘Smart Works has really helped me, not only to be interview ready but to tell the world how much I can bring in the future’. I am already looking forward to next year’s Smart Night Out.”
Like all good Smart Night’s out, the evening progressed with a fabulous raffle with lots of exciting prizes worth in total £2,500! Prizes included: you to everyone who has donated prizes this evening including:
- £250 Hobbs voucher
- £250 Photoshoot and frame from Andrew Collier photography
- A Bridge leather handbag
- A Samsung mobile tablet
- £200 worth of Contour Cosmetics
The silent auction included
- a Manchester City Shirt Signed by this seasons 2017 Team Players;
- ‘Big Hair’ – an original oil painting by Lindsey Bull retailing at between £1000 – £2000;
- A Rugby Ball signed by high profile rugby referee, Nigel Owens;
- 8 tickets to the Crystal Maze valued at £400
- a print of a Victoria Wood quote, artwork by Tash Willcocks;
- a print of Ellen Wilkinson, artwork by Deanna Halsall ‘Red Ellen’ and
- Rachel Bates Antheia Marble Bust in the colour Amethyst worth £595.00.
Following dinner, Smart Works former client Kendra Brown spoke of her experience of Smart Works.
Kendra came to Smart Works last year after her confidence was knocked being made redundant on Maternity Leave. After receiving the Smart Works experience Kendra went on to secure employment. Kendra has since been a great supporter of Smart Works and now refers women into the service as part of her job role.
A very successful inaugural event has set the scene for Smart Works Night Out in 2018!