The Suit Works is a unique project in South Yorkshire which provide suits, shirts and shoes as well as accessories for job interviews to disadvantaged and unemployed men in Sheffield.
Funding of £3,000 from the AESSEAL Charitable Trust Grassroots Endowment Fund for South Yorkshire has enabled the service to extend the hours of their Project Manager to meet the growing number of referrals the charity is receiving.
In 2016, The Suit Works had 73 clients and in 2017 they had 120. They are already set to surpass that number this year, clearly demonstrating how needed their services are.
Their clients come by referral from a range of government, training and other charitable organisations in the city.
Impressively, estimates show that 55 per cent of clients get a job within six weeks of their ‘make over’ with them. When clients are successful extra shirts are also offered to help clients with looking the part when they start work.
The age range of clients is from 19—65 and they come from all backgrounds. Recent clients have included men who are long term unemployed, refugees and armed forces veterans.
Vanda Kewley, Founder and Project Manager said: “For new clients, we get their measurements, get to know them and what style they like before we pick their suit out. It’s important that they feel comfortable when they are going to interviews.
“Many of the men that come to us have never seen themselves in a suit before. So when I put them in a beautiful suit and in front of a mirror, you can see how their perception of themselves changes. It gives them that extra bit of confidence. They leave standing that little bit taller.”
The charity is growing quickly and has recently employed it’s first member of staff, who started out as a volunteer helping Vanda with fittings. The Suit Works plans to keep expanding and helping more people out of unemployment and back into work.