Last year the Foundation gave a grant to Smart Works Greater Manchester, which supports women to get back into work. Working with a Smart Works mentor, customers have a free interview skills and style consultation session where they get to try different interview outfits until they find the right one for them. They get to keep the whole outfit, completely free of charge so that they feel confident on the day of the interview.
The Equity Grant was given to cover core costs and enable the team to concentrate on growing the service, building partnerships and increase referrals into the service. This has a real success with referrals growing nearly 50% over the last year.
During the lifetime of the grant Smart Works supported 443 women across the Greater Manchester area, 20 of whom were Equity Housing Group customers. Of those women supported:
- 24% had been unemployed for over 5 years,
- 19% had applied for over 100 jobs and
- almost most half were lone parents.
After their appointment with Smart Works 95% reported that they felt more confident about succeeding in interview. And it really shows as an incredible 70% went on to succeed at their interview, creating a social value of £283,789!
You can find out more about Smart Works on their website http://smartworks.org.uk/manchester-smart-works/