The Duchess has visited Smart Works several times over the last year where she has worked with many women who have benefited from the charity’s support, helping them through coaching and interview preparation. Her Royal Highness has also volunteered with several other projects in this sector in the past. Created in September 2013 Smart Works exists to help long term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives.
Half of Smart Works’ clients are from an ethnic minority, long-term unemployed and have been unsuccessful with a large number of job applications. Thanks to the charity’s support, 60% go on to get a job following their visit to Smart Works. As well as providing complete outfits of high quality clothes for job interviews, beneficiaries also have access to one-to-one interview training and the opportunity to join Smart Works Network, meeting every month to further their professional and personal development. Smart Works aims to dress 3500 women this year across their two London offices, and additional bases in key cities across the UK – Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham and Newcastle. For more information please visit http://smartworks.org.uk/.
Her Royal Highness has also been involved with several other projects in this sector, including a project whilst at university which provided prom dresses for young women in underprivileged areas. The Duchess has a longstanding track record of working in the space of women’s empowerment both in her local community as well as abroad. In recent years, Her Royal Highness has travelled to India and Rwanda working on projects to mobilise women in challenging or marginalized situations to see their full potential.