The Power of Work: Supporting More Unemployed Women in Need to Job Success via the Women Into Work Fund


Work has the power to transform lives. As the Chair of Smart Works Reading, I see this first-hand every day. Since 2015, we’ve helped over 1,800 unemployed women to secure employment and change the trajectory of their lives. Now, we’re excited to launch a new initiative to expand our impact in the community even further and we’re asking for individuals and businesses to support us on our mission.

I’m proud to announce the Women Into Work Fund, our campaign to raise £40,000 to double the number of local women we can support on their journey back into work. The need has never been greater, with many women disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and the rising cost of living crisis. Unemployment takes an enormous toll, not just economically but emotionally too. As the saying goes, “work shapes us.” And there’s no denying the boost employment gives not just to our finances, but to our self-worth and confidence.


Why your support matters.

At Smart Works Reading, we help our clients reach their full potential and succeed at the job interviews. In a two-hour appointment at our centre, clients first receive a complete personal styling session and a high-quality interview outfit that’s theirs to keep. We really do use ‘fashion as a force for good’ because we know looking professional in that bold blazer or sharp trousers makes an incredible difference, helping women stand taller before that all-important job interview.

Next, they benefit from dedicated one-on-one coaching to practice and refine their interview skills. Our volunteer coaches empower women to recognise and articulate their talents so they can shine. The combination fuels a dramatic boost in self-belief and readiness to pursue new opportunities. As one client shared, “I felt so overwhelmed coming here but now feel like I could walk into any interview!”

The results speak for themselves. 69% of our clients gain employment within one month of their Smart Works appointment. And we provide continued support like a capsule wardrobe of workwear and career coaching as they transition into new roles.

We know our service is deceptively simple, but we also know that our service really does help transform lives.  So just imagine the impact if we can double the women we support. Your donation to the Women Into Work Fund makes this possible. Together, we can empower more women in the Berkshire area than ever before.

As a community, we all benefit when people have the dignity of work and a regular income. At Smart Works Reading, we’re committed to breaking down barriers to employment and unleashing the full potential in women across Berkshire. We’re looking for individuals and businesses to join us and invest in a woman’s future through the Women Into Work Fund. The returns are immeasurable.

Helen Francis, Smart Works Reading Chair


Double your impact between 11th - 18th of October