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Location: Reading
Event date: August 31, 2020

Guards Polo Club helped raise over £6,200 for women’s employment support charity Smart Works Reading during a thrilling Ladies Charity Polo Final on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August.

Second year of charity partnership

This is the second year that Smart Works Reading has worked with Guards Polo Club to generate much needed funds. Although we were unable to repeat last year’s glamorous social event due to Covid-19 restrictions, the finals were live-streamed, and supporters could join in the excitement with an online prize draw and auction. The lucky winners came away with luxury skincare, designer dresses, amazing experiences, unique artwork and more.

Supporting women into work

Smart Works Reading addresses a root cause of poverty by supporting local women in need into employment. Our free interview dressing and coaching service supports each individual client to identify their transferable skills, build their confidence and understand how to communicate their strengths during the interview process. Last year, 69% of our clients got the job.

Needed now more than ever

The women we support come from throughout the Thames Valley and from many different backgrounds. They include careers, lone parents, people with disabilities, women who are recovering from illness, students, the long-term unemployed, and ex-offenders. Our clients also come from communities that are at high risk of contracting Covid-19, including those from BAME backgrounds. We anticipate increased demand from new clients who have lost their jobs, been bereaved or suffered illness during the pandemic.

The money raised through the Guards Polo Club fundraiser will go towards helping our clients succeed at interview and transform their lives.

“Every pound will help make a difference to the lives of our clients”

Smart Works Reading’s Chair Sarah Burns MBE was thrilled to present the trophy to the winning polo team, MT Vikings. She says:

“An immense thank you goes to everyone at Guards Polo Club and all our supporters who joined us ‘virtually’ this year.

“We had been in continual contact with our friends at Guards Polo Club throughout lockdown, exploring every angle in a bid to welcoming guests back to beautiful Windsor Great Park. When it became clear that the polo would have to be played behind closed doors, we very quickly adapted. With some invaluable help from the digital fundraising platform GalaBid and experience and events company Lex, as well as our generous brand and retail donors, we were able to run an online fundraiser with some amazing prizes.

“We’re delighted to have raised over £6,200. Every pound will help make a difference to the lives of our clients.”

Brian Stein, the Chairman of Guards Polo Club, added: “We are delighted to continue to support Smart Works Reading and its invaluable work in helping women get back into employment through our Charity Ladies Polo Tournament.

We were disappointed that we could not welcome the charity and its guests to the Club this year due to the coronavirus, but I would like to personally thank everyone who supported Smart Works Reading via our innovative, online fundraising. This includes the eight brilliant teams who entered this year’s competition. Their support of both our tournament and Smart Works Reading is hugely appreciated by us all.”

Every player in the ladies’ finals also received some stunning prizes donated by Clé de Peau Beauté, who have just been announced at the sponsor of the Guards Ladies Charity Polo Tournament from 2021.