believe in the future!

Meet our volunteer – Emma

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“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned”

We all know the importance of this statement. At Smart Works Edinburgh, this is a RULE that we live by. And we wouldn’t be able to dress a client and give her interview training within the span of 2hours, if we weren’t organized. Specifically, we need to have an organized wardrobe/ stockroom.

For National Volunteers week, meet Emma. She is a STOCKROOM VOLUNTEER.(Also, a dressing volunteer. Talented, right? )

steamed clothes 4

What does this role involve? Painstaking work and lots of patience. We get donations from people every other week. We have collaborations with Next, Hobbs and other retailers who send in clothes quite often. We have suit- drives every few months. As a stock room volunteer, Emma, and others volunteers, sort EVERY SINGLE PIECE of donation. They need to be arranged by size, by color, by season, etc. Sort and display accessories, scarves. Steam all the clothes, that require it. Discard ones that aren’t suitable for an interview. Separate clothes that are too fancy(Again, unsuitable for an interview). We could go on.

Volunteers like Emma, who handle the stockroom, almost always are dressing volunteers as well. But that’s for another time.

Emma started volunteering with us 2 years ago, before the office had opened at Bonnington Bond. At that time we basically stored & sorted the clothing donations in a spare bedroom in the basement of somebody’s house!

Having heard about SW & the amazing work that was being done in the South, she decided to join Smart Works Edinburgh to try to help local women get back into the workplace. After a career break she took(looking after her two boys), she says she could identify with ‘the fear’ of the working world & the apprehension felt by many women facing an interview situation. 

She had relevant skills following an 8 year position as Area Manager with Shelter where she helped expand their shops & develop the business. 

She later went on to work in a small independent boutique in the West End.With her experience in both the second hand clothing market right through to the designer end of the fashion business, she thought she might be able to offer something to the Smart Works team. (Something? We are hugely indebted to you for the work you do!)

In her words,

“I think every volunteer dresser would say the same thing, that without doubt, the best thing about the job is seeing a confident & happy client walk out of the room, remembering who they were & what they could do & looking & feeling great.”



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