Back to News
Location: Reading
Date: April 7, 2021

Smart Works Reading is reopening for face-to-face appointments from Monday 12th April.

In person dressing and online coaching

We are welcoming clients back for socially distanced dressing sessions. Our specially trained volunteers work with each client to select an interview outfit that is professional, comfortable and confidence-boosting, which is free for the client to keep.

An HR or coaching professional also provides tailored advice and guidance for every client ahead of their interview. Each coaching session lasts an hour and is on Zoom.

Remote support for those unable to visit our centre

Smart Works Reading supports disadvantaged women in the Thames Valley into work.

We are supporting more vulnerable clients (e.g., people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women or those unable to travel) by continuing to offer remote appointments and clothing packages sent directly to clients’ homes.

A safe and secure reopening

We want everyone who comes to Smart Works Reading to feel happy, comfortable, and safe. The wellbeing of all our visitors is our priority.

If you would like to visit Smart Works Reading, please help us keep you, our volunteers, and staff safe by following our simple guidelines:

  • Please do not visit us if you have any Covid-19 symptoms. We can still support you through our remote service
  • Unless you are exempt, please wear a mask at all times during your visit
  • Our staff and volunteers will always keep 2 metres away from you and each other. Please respect this distance
  • We will ask you to complete our forms on disinfected iPads during your appointment. We can support you with this should you require help

Additionally, we are:

  • Undertaking strict measures to create a safe space, such as by installing hand sanitising points, desk screens, and signs encouraging social distancing and the frequent washing of hands. We will also keep windows open to ensure good ventilation
  • Allocating separate toilets for staff and visitors
  • Establishing a system to quarantine tried-on clothing for 72 hours and to steam it prior to being put back into the wardrobe. We will clean all tried-on handbags, shoes and other accessories with antiseptic wipes and leave them off the shelves for 72 hours before being returned
  • Scheduling 30-minute breaks between client dressing appointments so that we can disinfect all areas and surfaces used by clients, volunteers, and staff

Clothing donations on hold for the moment

Our priority is to support our clients as we reopen our centre safely and securely. As we currently have a well-stocked wardrobe and very limited space for sorting and quarantining clothes, we are unable to accept clothing donations at the moment. Please follow us on social media for updates on when we can accept donations again.

Staying safe and ready

After reopening, Smart Works Reading will continue to adapt to any new government advice and guidance. Your health and safety is, and always will be, our priority. We will continue to monitor our operations carefully and we will not hesitate to adapt our approach if it is not safe to continue with our original plan.

We look forward to welcoming you back!