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Location: Reading
Date: September 21, 2021
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Smart Works Reading is moving to a new, larger centre to enable the charity to support more local women in need into work.

The new centre - in Enterprise House, 95 London Street - will open on 30th September, and is a stone’s throw away from Smart Works’ current office. It is on several key bus routes, and a 10-minute walk from Reading town centre.

Helping local women into work

Since opening in 2015, Smart Works Reading has delivered thousands of interview dressing and coaching appointments and helped around 700 women to get job offers. The charity has not stopped supporting women throughout the pandemic, shifting to online consultations, and the delivery of workwear and personal care parcels direct to clients’ homes rather than in-person services.

The new, rented Smart Works space will have an extended wardrobe area where clients can be dressed in high-quality workwear, which is theirs to keep. Tailored, 1-2-1 employment advice sessions will take place in a private meeting room or online, and a new ‘quiet zone’ will also be available for clients and volunteers.

“Award-winning service”

Sarah Burns MBE, Chair of Smart Works Reading says:

“So many inspirational people have already passed through our doors, especially our fantastic clients who work so hard to transform their lives, and our incredible volunteers who give so much of their time and expertise for free.  

“Our new building will enable us to provide an enhanced service from a larger and more accessible centre. It has a lift, which will both make it much easier for clients with mobility issues to visit us and for us to accept the many fantastic donations of high-quality clothing that we receive from our supporters. Clothing donations have been on hold recently, but we will now be able to reinstate them because of better quarantine, sorting and storage space. 

“We will, for the first time, be able to provide appointments for more than one client simultaneously, while maintaining our stringent Covid-19 safety and hygiene measures. We are also looking forward to using the space for referral partner information sessions and other events. In fact, our new centre promises to be a valuable and welcoming community hub. 

“A lot of hard work is going into the new centre, and we’d like to thank everyone who is supporting us to enhance our award-winning service with this move.  

“We are very grateful to Reading Community Learning Centre, our fantastic co-tenants and referral partner, for the first six years of our journey, and look forward to continuing to work with them in our new location – after all, it’s only across the road!”

 

The new Smart Works Reading centre is across the road from our current location

Support the move

Reserves are being used to fund this project in addition to a grant from SC Johnson and other support from donors and the wider community. Fundraising initiatives to help cover ongoing costs include our current ‘Summertime Socials’ campaign and a planned in-person event for later this year. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available, please email reading@smartworks.org.uk for more details. We also accept donations through our website or through our Facebook and Instagram donate buttons.