Time Central businesses outfit Smart Works charity with office-ready fashion

Time Central neighbours Muckle LLP, Mott Macdonald, Turner & Townsend and RBC Brewin Dolphin have joined forces to donate 30 bags of office wear to Smart Works Newcastle. The charity supports North East women into employment with work-appropriate clothing and coaching.

Working together to dig deep, teams based at the Gallowgate building collected high-quality clothing, shoes and accessories for redistribution by the confidence-boosting service.

The clothing drive was organised by Rebecca Shadlock, technical director for environment and sustainability at Mott MacDonald. She said: “It’s a pleasure to support Smart Works Newcastle and the clothing drive was an easy initiative to organise.

“It made perfect sense to ask our neighbours in Time Central, and thankfully everyone was in full support. Smart Works’ ‘SHE GOT THE JOB’ posts on LinkedIn make me smile every time and the purpose of the charity is heart-warming. 

“Why shouldn’t every woman be enabled to attain a job and enjoy the associated benefits that come from employment? We look forward to continuing to support the charity and empowering women.”

Hannah Coffey, Smart Works’ fundraising and partnership lead, says the donations will make a big difference to women’s lives, commenting: “In Jan 2023 we gave out 300 items so having the businesses in Time Central come together to do a clothing drive for us is something we’re incredibly grateful for, especially with International Women’s Day around the corner.

“The volume and quality of donations means we are going to be able to help even more women across the North east on their employment journey and change the trajectory of their lives.”

Andrea Gibson, business development and marketing director at Muckle LLP, has also been involved with Smart Works several times before, having previously arranged clothing drives and co-ordinated volunteering opportunities for the law firm’s wider team.

She said: “We’re always delighted to collect workwear for the women using Smart Works and this time, we pooled resources with businesses across our Gallowgate location to collect even more than usual. We collected 30 bags of donations.

“The Muckle team always donates generously in the name of social responsibility and sustainable living. Caring about our community is one of our four core values and giving back is a constant focus for us all.”

In the past, Muckle employees have collected clothing and used their volunteering days to volunteer at Smart Works pop-up events. As part of the firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments, everyone is encouraged to take two leave days every year to volunteer at local charities.

Solicitor Gillian Scribbins and PA Hayley Dale volunteered at the Smart Works fashion sale in The Place to Eat in John Lewis, Eldon Square on 17 December, helping to merchandise donations ready for purchase by savvy shoppers, with proceeds going directly to Smart Works.

Gillian said: “Smart Works is a great cause that I was delighted to be able to get involved with. They organise these one-off sales of donated fashion across the UK to raise funds for the charity, which help women look and feel good as they prepare for job interviews.”

Dedicated to helping women into employment by providing clothing and coaching, Smart Works’ aim is to empower people with the self-belief and practical tools that can help them succeed at interviews.

The charity counts television personalities and North East natives Sara Davies MBE and Steph McGovern among its supporters, who have both donated their time and clothing.

For more information about getting involved or to make a donation to Smart Works, visit their website.

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