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Location: Edinburgh
Date: January 21, 2022
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We’re so delighted to be featured in the latest issue of Edinburgh lifestyle magazine, Edinburgh Life this month.

These photos were taken at our ‘Sustainability Matters’ Event back in November at the Waldorf Astoria and captured the mood perfectly. With over 80 guests, our wonderful guest speakers Jane Shepherdson CBE and Lady Juliet Hughes-Hallet, our Smart Works Fashion rail and stalls from the beautiful sustainable fashion brands, beira and treen, it was certainly an evening to remember. 💙

Watch this space for our exciting series of events that we’ve planned for 2022!

 

 

 

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: April 28, 2021
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On Monday 26th of April 2021, we reopened our doors at 32 Annandale Street Lane once again!

We have been providing our services remotely over the past few months, with our coaches guiding our clients with interview techniques via Zoom, and our team in HQ posting our interview clothing parcels to women across Scotland.

However, we are back in our Edinburgh office with our wonderful team of volunteers by our side. This week we welcomed a few of our volunteers into our centre for the first time since before Christmas. One of our dressing volunteers, Annie, who has been volunteering with Smart Works Edinburgh for 5 years said:

“It is fantastic to be back, meeting new people, helping our clients again and serving a purpose. It is all round great to be back!”

We couldn’t agree more, Annie.

The true silver lining of the past year is our virtual service and the ability to reach more women in Scotland. We have been able to offer our services to women in the following areas:

  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Lanarkshire
  • Aberdeen
  • Dundee
  • Falkirk

We are thrilled to be able to offer our amazing clients a more personal dressing service while we continue to look forward to the day we can welcome them into our centre again. Clients continue to be at the heart of everything we do at Smart Works Edinburgh.

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: March 10, 2021
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With March being the busiest month of the year here at Smart Works Edinburgh, here is a look back at what we have been up to over the past week.

Our trustees were heavily involved with the events surrounding International Women’s Day, with Kirsty Johnston, talking all things Smart Works at Brewin Dolphin’s virtual International Women’s Day event. Kirsty was accompanied by financial experts from Brewin Dolphin, who discussed the world of investments, financial planning and charities, all from the perception of women within the industry. Stylist, Numba Pinkerton, also joined the event, providing practical tips and tricks to help you master the art of smart/causal dressing.

Additionally, Bronagh Power, shared the work of Smart Works Edinburgh with all those attending Shepherd and Wedderburn’s virtual panel. Bronagh shared some of the challenges faced by our charity in the past year but also shared some of the opportunities that were presented to us , most notably the chance to extend our geographical reach so that we can now support women from all over Scotland.  The event was a great success with Bronagh sharing; “There were about 94 in attendance on the day but the event was shared across social media platforms. It was a great opportunity to hear from other women’s inspiring experiences and of course to share something of our wonderful Smart Works story.”

As the week of “Cycle” arrived and left, it became clear that this years event has been our most successful yet, with almost £32,000 raised for Smart Works Edinburgh. This year also saw our largest number of participants ever with 251 participants. We would like to thank you all for your amazing effort, without it, we wouldn’t be able to carry out the life-changing services we do to women around Scotland.

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: February 3, 2021
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A quick reminder to our Smart Works Edinburgh community that despite Scotland’s third and most recent lockdown, we are doing our best to continue providing our services to women in need. So what does this look like?

Fortunately, we are still able to offer our expert-led, one-on-one interview and career-coaching services, which can be carried out virtually or over the phone. This has proven to be an invaluable asset to the dozens of women that we have been able to see over the course of the pandemic.

Furthermore, our dressing service will also continue to operate, as our wonderful dressing team works with our clients over the phone or video call to curate the perfect outfit, will package it into a box with love, care and a supportive smile, and ensure it’s delivered straight to their door. Unfortunately, however, we are unable to accept clothing and accessory donations at our Edinburgh office, but we’ll let you know as soon as that changes.

While the news of another lockdown was hardly greeted with enthusiasm, we are as grateful as ever for the everlasting support of our Smart Works Edinburgh community and referral partners. It is thanks to you that it is still possible for us to support unemployed women through the interview process, equipping them to feel prepared and dressing them to feel confident.

The next few months will be challenging, but we’re better prepared than ever before to make sure we can be there for our clients at a vital moment in their lives. If you or someone you know is in need of our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at edinburgh@smartworks.org.uk

In the meantime, you can stay up-to-date by following our Instagram @Smartworksedinburgh.

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: November 6, 2020
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This month Smart Works Edinburgh has reached 1,500 appointments since our centre opened. This is a huge milestone for us and marks the change and growth that we have undergone since our first client in 2014. We’d like to thank our clients and community of supporters over the years, as you have helped us progress from dressing clients and providing interview training, to our now virtual service which has enabled us to reach women not only local to Edinburgh, but across the country.

Following our opening in 2014, Smart Works Edinburgh began to accumulate more and more clients, which has enabled us to spread our reach, and work with a huge array of incredible companies such as Le Tee, Treen, Bobbi Brown, and partner with retailers like Hobbs, Next, Whistles, Evans, Marks & Spencer, and John Lewis & Partners, who send us stock as donations. In our journey, our supporters have also donated thousands of pounds to the charity, which has allowed us to continue helping women into work.

We believe that a first impression is crucially important for confidence in a job interview. It follows that when a woman lands a job interview, she deserves to have the means to give a good first impression. At Smart Works Edinburgh, we provide the tools to do exactly that. With our 2-hour dressing and interview preparation service, 70% of our clients have gone on to succeed in their interview and get the job. This is why celebrating 1,500 appointments is so momentous for our team.

Thank you again for your help and support as members of the Smart Works Edinburgh community. We are so proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to what the future brings!

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: August 3, 2020
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The significance of a first impression is crucial. When a woman secures a job interview there should never be additional stress nor struggle channelled from a difficult financial position or having no suitable clothes to wear. Smart Works Edinburgh helps almost 250 women a year with the clothes and confidence they need to succeed at their job interview and move on with their lives. Over 1 in 2 women we see get the job and 82% of our clients leave feeling more confident that they are going to succeed in their interview.

Our service at Smart Works Edinburgh is currently open to any women Scotland-wide who are unemployed or at risk of redundancy. We can offer our dressing and interview preparation service to any woman who has a confirmed job interview. If you are struggling to secure a job interview, our coaches can take you through an hour career coaching, leaving you with tangible steps to progress your job hunt.

The 2-hour interview preparation appointment begins with a consultation with one of our dressing volunteers who will take into consideration your style preferences and the job you are going for. They will then assist you in finding that perfect head-to-toe interview outfit which is yours to keep for free. All our stock is donated through other working women or comes direct from our retail partners such as Hobbs, Next, Whistles, Evans, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis & Partners. This is followed by an interview training session with one of our volunteers who specialize in HR and recruitment who will assist you in feeling not only prepared but believing in your own ability to succeed.

Due to the current restrictions regarding COVID-19 we are sadly unable to invite you along to our office for a face-to-face appointment. However, our service can be delivered virtually with our wonderful volunteers who are hosting both the dressings and interview coaching over Zoom or phone. Once your appointment is finished a parcel with your bespoke outfit, jewellery, interview pack and a note from us will be posted to your address.

If you have a job interview lined up and would find our service useful then please do get in touch with us by either calling us 0131 516 7787, or sending us an email – edinburgh@smartworks.org.uk

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: March 25, 2020
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Given the government advice around COVID-19, we have taken the decision to pause dressings for the time being. We will be taking referrals for interview coaching via zoom or telephone. This is a precaution to protect our clients, volunteers and staff.

It is a temporary measure, and we will be in touch when the situation changes. If you have any questions or wish to refer someone to the service for interview coaching please do get in touch on 0131 516 7787.

As we have had to temporarily close our centre, we are also unable to accept clothing donations. However, your donations will be desperately needed soon so please do keep things to one side for us.

All of our staff are working from home and contactable by email. The team at Smart Works Edinburgh are really grateful for all of your support. We wish everyone in the Smart Works family – clients, referrers, donors and volunteers – good health during this challenging time.

 

 

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: November 14, 2019
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Smart Works Edinburgh, in partnership with international law firm, CMS, celebrated its 5th birthday in style last month, raising more than £6,000 to help women get back into employment.

For the third year, together with leading lifestyle magazine, i-on, more than 130 guests gathered for an evening to shop from an array of local retailers and enjoy networking with like-minded women who support the Smart Works cause.

Held in The Scottish Café, beautifully refurbished venue by the ever-supportive Contini family, guests browsed stallholders, mostly small businesses run by local women: le tee Paris; Life with Style; Cheri Milaney; Rachel Scott Couture; McTavish Collection; Jigsaw; Dandelion & Ginger; Scottish Textiles Showcase; Bawbags; Black & White Publishing; Grace Chocolates; Vincent Bell and Sarah Haran.

National partner, Jigsaw, treated guests to a styling demonstration, offering top tips to create the perfect capsule wardrobe and key seasonal looks.

Artisan bakery, Creamed Edinburgh, created a beautiful vanilla and bramble birthday cake for the occasion.

It was an important milestone to reflect on past achievements and how far the charity has come in its mission to empower women to transform their lives. And, crucially, the funds raised, will allow more than 100 women to be supported back to work, with increased confidence and self-belief.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who made the event possible – we couldn’t have done it without you.

And, finally, watch this space for more exciting events ahead in 2020!

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: August 1, 2019
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We are so proud to be included in the seminal, September Edition of British Vogue guest-edited by our Patron, The Duchess of Sussex.

In the article, The Duchess writes:

“The reason I was drawn to Smart Works is that it reframes the idea of charity as community. It’s a network of women supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits.”

For the special issue, The Duchess brings together a group of inspiring women from all walks of life. From activists to artists, prime ministers to climate change champions, this group of incredible women are all changing the world for the better.

Kate Stephens, Smart Works CEO, comments:

“Our Smart Works family is flourishing under the Duchess’s patronage. We have dressed more women than ever before, and we have just had our best ever July, helping 27% more women across the UK than the same time last year. We want to help more women find their way to a Smart Works centre so that they may, in the words of the Duchess, be ready to take on the world, get a job and transform their lives“

The Duchess and Smart Works have more exciting plans in store (watch this space) but for now, we hope you’ll buy this very special copy #ForcesForChange edition of Vogue and be inspired by what you read.

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Location: Edinburgh
Date: July 29, 2019
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We are proud to announce that we have been awarded £5,000 from the Main Grant Programme, courtesy of OneCity Trust.

OneCity Trust is an independent organisation which acknowledges the vast inequalities and social exclusion present in the city of Edinburgh. Itself funded through donations and fundraising initiatives, OneCity Trust seeks to provide strategic funding to both large and small local organisations working to address our city’s problems. They do this by helping local projects tacking obstacles that residents may face; especially in areas such as education, social welfare, homelessness and mental health.

As we at Smart Works Edinburgh continue in our dedication to widening women’s access to employment, we are proud to be supported by an organisation whose vision aligns so well with our own.

Smart Works Edinburgh will use this funding to continue to provide high quality professional clothing and one-on-one interview coaching to women facing structural challenges to employment.