The Newcastle Branch of Dress for Success is calling for volunteers who can provide support and help reboot its unique programs in the post-COVID environment.
With the goal of improving the employability of women in Newcastle and the Hunter region, Dress for Success provides access to free professional styling, clothing, coaching, career development tools, and a network of support.
An often-overlooked barrier an unemployed woman faces when looking for a job is a lack of suitable clothing for the all-important job interview.
Women in need locally may be experiencing poverty, unemployment, underemployment, and family violence.
Dress for Success Newcastle Operations Manager, Shari Bonnette said its service provides solutions for women in this situation.
“We recognise the barriers women face returning to paid employment,” Shari said.
“Dress for Success has helped women from a wide variety of backgrounds and situations into employment.
“With unprecedented high levels of unemployment for women in the Hunter Region, we aim to provide a styling service and a career support program to assist all women with returning to paid employment.”
Through its unique one-on-one styling program, Dress for Success provides clients with a set of high quality, gently pre-loved clothes. The clothes are work ready and suitable for job interviews, starting a new job or any other life event occasions when a woman might need help with having the right outfit.
“Importantly we are a volunteer-based organisation, so we rely on the generosity and commitment of volunteers,” she said.
“We’re putting the call out to local women who would like an opportunity to help other women, who want to give back to society and gain personal satisfaction and growth by volunteering with the Newcastle branch of Dress for Success.”
Volunteering includes providing stylist support to our clients in our Broadmeadow showroom, supporting the styling program by sorting clothing donations, assisting with our Career Support Program, and fundraising events.
“We appreciate everyone has busy lives, but even sparing a small amount of your time can made a huge difference to someone needing that extra support to re-enter employment,” Shari said.
Since commencing in 2019 Dress for Success Newcastle has styled over 135 clients, recruited over 50 volunteers who gave over 300 hours, and established working relationships with over 30 local referral agencies.
“If you are someone with a positive attitude, a helpful smile, and an interest in helping other women, we would love to hear from you,” Shari said.
The Newcastle Branch thanks the following supporters without which, operations simply wouldn’t be feasible: NIB Foundation, Port of Newcastle, and Uniting Care.
Contact [email protected] to find out how you can help women in Newcastle and the Hunter Region.
IMAGE | Dress for Success Newcastle team – Caroline Woodhill, Bron Meddows, Shari Bonnette, Gill Barry, and Victoria Clay (left-right).