Catherine backs bringing Smart Works to Newcastle

Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, has added her support to efforts to bring the innovative work of the charity Smart Works to Newcastle, at an event held recently in the City Library.

Named Social Action Charity of the Year 2017, Smart Works provides high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to women in need.  In the last three years, Smart Works has taken its service from one centre in London to six centres across the UK, and is now helping women in Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Reading.

In each of their locations, over one in two of the women Smart Works helps goes on to get a job – despite over half of their clients being long-term unemployed and/or having received a large number of previous rejections.

At the core of the Smart Works service is a two-hour appointment, during which each woman receives a complete outfit of clothes and accessories to keep, and one-to-one interview training. Those attending the recent event at the City Library heard that Smart Works now want to bring this unique service to life in Newcastle, with the aim of being up and running in spring 2018.

Each Smart Works centre is run by a volunteer board of trustees, who have regional connections, knowledge and insight to make the service work in their city. The charity is currently seeking applications from potential trustees in Newcastle, as well as anyone who may be interested in volunteering for the charity or acting as a corporate supporter.

Catherine said:

‘For many women who’ve been out of a job for some time, trying to secure employment can feel like climbing Mount Everest and repeated knock-backs are so damaging to people’s confidence and self-esteem.

‘Smart Works gives women in this situation a much-need boost, and the practical advice, support and tools that can help them to get back into work.

‘I’m absolutely delighted Smart Works now want to bring this service to Newcastle and would encourage anyone who thinks they could help make it a success to register their interest.’

Smart Works CEO, Kate Stephens, said:

‘Smart Works is a brilliantly simple and practical concept that works.  After their visit, well over half of the women we contact go on to get the job. 

‘Seeing the service in action every day is a great privilege and an inspiration to all of us who work here.  We are passionate about improving the lives of women, and we now seeking people to bring our award winning Smart Works service to Newcastle.’

People interested in helping to bring Smart Works to Newcastle should contact Laura Dalby, UK Head of Regional Development, via the Smart Works website –