Smart Works Reading has received £5,000 from the Berkshire Community Foundation – A Life Less Lonely fund. The grant will enable Smart Works Reading to continue to help women in Reading and the Thames Valley area get back into work, combatting the loneliness and isolation they often feel whilst battling unemployment. A recent report by Public Health England stated that 50% of unemployed people are socially isolated.
Smart Works offers all its clients an interview preparation service and a free style consultation – including a free, complete work outfit to take away, enabling women to head for an interview feeling confident in their own capabilities, and ready for work. Most Smart Works clients are long term unemployed, and have typically applied for over 50 jobs by the time they enter the Smart Works office. Over 95% of clients report that a visit to Smart Works significantly increased their confidence in succeeding at a job interview.
Sarah Burns, Smart Works Reading’s Chair, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of the Berkshire Community Foundation. In our first year of operation, Smart Works Reading has already helped over 300 women in the Reading area, and nearly 68% of those we’ve seen went on to get the job. We’re hoping to significantly increase those figures in 2017, and this grant will be a great help.”