Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Empowering charity expands reach across Greater Manchester

  • Thursday, May 11, 2023

National charity Smart Works has expanded its ground-breaking work across Greater Manchester, with a new base in Manchester city centre.

Smart Works gives women clothes, coaching and confidence to succeed at their job interviews and transform their lives – they are powered by a community of fashion retailers, businesses and individuals who are all passionate about helping women to succeed.  

Building on its work in Stockport, where the charity has supported more than 3,500 women in eight years, the charity now has a home in Holyoake House in central Manchester.

The opening of the new Smart Works branch was attended by leading female figures from across the city-region, including Rose Marley, CEO of Co-operatives UK, Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council and Smart Works’ CEO Kate Stephens and Victoria Cronquist also from Smart Works.



Rose Marley expressed her excitement for hosting Smart Works and described it as the ‘perfect fit’ and knows they’ll bring ‘energy and hope’ to the building. 

Naomi Ilagoswa, Head of Strategic Partnerships & External Projects at The Growth Company said, “We are delighted to support Smart Works with their new branch in Manchester City Centre. Having championed their Manchester City Centre pop-up, it’s great to see them move into a permanent base.

“We have worked in partnership with Smart Works for a number of years, with them providing the women we support with interview advice & clothing with their bespoke and personalised service.”


The charity has a great track record with 72% of their clients going on to get a job within one month of their first visit to Smart Works.

The new location in Holyoake House, Hanover Street, will bring this service to local women in Manchester.

Speaking at the event, Councillor Bec Craig, welcomed Smart Works to the city centre, and welcomed Smart Works’ CEO Kate Stephens, who has supported this new development with huge enthusiasm for the city. She also highlighted the growth of Manchester’s economy, skills base, and significant growth of population.

Attendees also heard from women who have been supported by Smart Works, with Victoria Cronquist introducing a former client of Smart Works, Josie, who was inspired by her experiences with Smart Works: “My experience has been life-changing. The confidence it gave me, it really made me feel empowered. I’m a very proud Mancunian and the fact that you’re (Smart Works) here now, supporting women, is brilliant.” 


Comments from Smart Works clients.

“It was such a beautiful experience. I love colour and they found clothes that really represented me. It made me feel like myself again.”  

“I got so much confidence from talking to a coach and getting that hands-on advice. She told me I had everything there; it was just a matter of reminding myself.” 


If you are an unemployed woman and need support, make your way to the new Smart Works and you will be supported by volunteers and this support will continue until you are financially independent. 

Are you a business that can help? You can donate clothes or your time as volunteers.

To find out more about Smart Works in Manchester, visit the website here