I am a recent graduate from the University of Reading and have completed a summer internship at Smart Works Reading. Within this role, I have witnessed the amazing work this charity carries out and believe their services would be of great use to many students and graduates.
How Smart Works Can Help You
Job interviews are very daunting and can be a significant barrier to success. Since the pandemic, it can be difficult to navigate the job market and the pressure to succeed at interviews has increased. In addition to this, most students and graduates have not previously attended formal interviews which can lead to greater stress and uncertainty when trying to assess what employers want. Smart Works is a nationwide charity that assists women into employment. They provide tools and support to improve client’s confidence in their abilities and to increase successes at interviews.
As a student, or recent graduate, it can be difficult to know what to expect in an interview. Interview appropriate clothes can also be very expensive, which is why Smart Works is here to support you. Smart Works Reading is a short distance from the University of Reading and are here to support all women who require their help, whether this be for part-time work or graduate employment.
Smart Works clients come from all walks of life and include lone parents; the long-term unemployed; domestic abuse survivors; women with disabilities; school and college leavers; carers; ex-offenders and transgender women. Their service is carefully designed, with kindness and respect at the heart of everything they do.
For women with a confirmed interview, Smart Works offer free interview preparation with an experienced career coach and dressings where the client is given an interview appropriate outfit to wear and keep. Smart Works also provides career coaching for those who need additional help or for those who have not secured an interview.
To be referred to Smart Works Reading for support, contact UOR careers team.
How You Can Help Smart Works
Whilst Smart Works are here to support women, they also rely on the support of volunteers and the public to ensure they can continue to help those in need.
Smart Works has voluntary opportunities! Smart Works operates through a vast network of volunteers. Roles include administrators, career coaches and dressers. If you are looking for experience in the charity sector, or are hoping to gain voluntary experience to enhance your CV, why not apply to volunteer? https://reading.smartworks.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/
To support Smart Works, attend their events! Smart Works Reading hold a number of fundraising events throughout the year. All proceeds go towards the operations and services Smart Works provides. The success of these events is vital in ensuring they can support as many women as possible. To hear about specific dates and types of events, be sure to follow their Instagram page @smartworksrdg, Facebook and Linkedin.
Smart Works depend on kind donations from their supporters. If you have any high-quality clothing, you no longer need or want, Smart Works would love to receive them! Any interview-appropriate clothes will be added to the wardrobe for clients. And any other donations will be used in the fashion sales that raise money for Smart Works!
Spread the word! By telling others about Smart Works and their services, you can help them reach more women in need to gain employment. Raising awareness for the charity can also lead to a larger number of supporters, leading to greater levels of fundraising. The more well-known Smart Works is, the more women they can help!
By Matilda Draycott-Wright