Smart Works to launch in Leeds

UK charity Smart Works, which helps unemployed women get back into work by providing the coaching, clothes and confidence needed to get a job, is bringing its award-winning service to Leeds this autumn.

A Smart Works volunteer (left) and a client (right)

Smart Works said its aim is to help more women across the West Yorkshire region to access employment and transform their lives.

Smart Works Leeds will be the eighth centre for the charity, joining North London, West London, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham and Reading.

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The charity's goal is to help more women succeed in their job interviews.

The search for the next Smart Works centre was launched in autumn 2018, followed by an awareness event in January 2019.

This brought together over 100 charity partners, retailers, executive coaches, local businesses and individuals from across Leeds, all united by their desire to empower women.

Since then a group of founding trustees have worked closely with the team at Smart Work HQ to build a business plan to enable them to successfully launch the service this autumn.

Smart Works' chief executive Kate Stephens said: “We are thrilled to have found such an engaged and talented group of women who are passionate about bringing the Smart Works service to their region.

"Leeds is such a thriving hub, with the volunteers and supporters needed to ensure our service can thrive there, but like most large urbanareas, there are also huge pockets of deprivation that means there are the women who would benefit from the support our service can bring. It is a real privilege to open our eighth Smart Works in this brilliant city.”

Helen Oldham, chair of Smart Works Leeds, said: “I believe passionately in helping other women to succeed in their careers and so it is with great excitement that we are bringing Smart Works to Leeds.

"Whilst Leeds and Bradford have one of the youngest and fastest-growing labour markets in the UK, a factor in attracting Channel 4, there is asignificant need to support women in this region who find it more challenging to enter the job market.

"With the support of this brilliant city and the talented people who live here, I am confident we will get off to a flying start here in Leeds.”