Women all dressed up to get a job
It’s not easy starting a new job, but Sarah Anderson knows she’ll be doing it in style.
The mother-of-two was outfitted for work by Dress For Success, a charity helping women in need start or return to work.
Ms Anderson has begun working part-time after having her children, now aged four and two.
“I’ve been out of the workforce for so long, I was a bit flustered and didn’t know where to go,” she says.
Ms Anderson was referred by Work and Income to the Mt Eden-based charity, who provided two free outfits including shoes, handbags and makeup.
“I didn’t know what to expect at all but I had a lot of fun, it was like having a personal shopper,” she says.
“I felt a million dollars walking out.”
Dress For Success is an international charity that has been running in New Zealand since 1999.
Programme coordinator Claire Donaldson says the Auckland branch expects to dress 1500 women this year.
“Our main focus is helping women in need enter and return to the workforce,” she says.
Women must be referred by another group, such as Work and Income, Women’s Refuge, the Citizens Advice Bureau and training academies.
Each client is provided with a free outfit for their job interview and a second set when they start work.
“It just makes my day when someone phones up and says they’ve got the job, and comes back for their second outfit,” Ms Donaldson says.
She says women are often surprised by the quality of clothes on offer.
The clothes, bags and shoes are all donated, but Ms Donaldson says they set a high standard.
“We ask ourselves: ‘Would you dress your best friend in it?’ If you would, keep it. If not, donate it on,” she says.
More shoes, handbags and plus-size clothes are always needed, as well as cash donations.
Volunteers are also needed to work from Tuesday to Friday helping to dress clients.
Cynthia Henry has been helping once a week for 18 months and says it’s a fun atmosphere to work in. “It’s uplifting,” she says. “There are a lot of us who think we’re Trinny and Susannah, but we’re not.”
To volunteer or arrange a donation contact Claire on 377-2762, or see the website www.dressforsuccess.org.
New start: Dress for Success volunteer Cynthia Henry, left, with client Sarah Anderson, who was provided with outfits to wear to her new job.