Sheffield charity prepares people to get back into the world of work

A charity that helps people back take the first step back into the world of work is looking for volunteers and trustees to continue.
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The Suit Works , based at Mowbray Street in Sheffield, helps and supports unemployed people of all ages who are trying to get into work by giving them a styling session and smart interview appropriate clothing when they have the offer of a job interview and they do not have, or are unable to afford to buy anything suitable.

They also help them to prepare by giving them some informal interview skills training at the same time covering aspects such as body language, grooming, dealing with nerves and preparation. Or practical skills which may include something as simple as how to iron a shirt.

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Vanda Kewley (left) and Faye Mellors of The Suit WorksVanda Kewley (left) and Faye Mellors of The Suit Works
Vanda Kewley (left) and Faye Mellors of The Suit Works
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Project lead Faye Mellors said: “We provide a full service to men and women throughout South Yorkshire if they’ve got confirmation of a job interview or appointment and they don’t have the appropriate clothing.

"We work through a referral service usually, the Job Centre provides the biggest quota of clients, but also lots of organisations around Sheffield such as Sheffield Futures, and lots of charities including Roundabout.

"At the moment there are a lot of self referrals.”

She explained: “I in August 2019 we launched a service for women as previously it was just for men.

"We had a huge relaunch of the service and from then to March 2020 there was a 182 per cent increase in referalls which shows how much the service was needed pre-Covid.

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“We closed for two to three m onths and concentrated our energy on funding.

"We managed to open within the guidelines from August and since then we have been developing so when we can’t see people face to face we speak on the phone and put together a package for them. But, like everybody else, our situation is constantly changing.”

Faye, and CEO and founder Vanda Kewley, are the only staff members at The Suit Works and due to the pandemic they currently have no volunteers.

“We’re looking for volunteers to sort out donations, working on our fabulous wardrobes, social media, and we also need new trustees.”

Anyone interested should email [email protected]

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.