Smart Works Leeds became the eighth centre to open in November 2019. They support women from a range of different backgrounds get back into employment by providing one-to-one interview coaching and appropriate clothing for the interview.

They started with an empty shell of a building based at Mabgate Mills close to the city centre, with the aim of providing support to women across West Yorkshire. The centre’s task was huge in getting the building up to standard to portray that warm and welcoming feeling that has worked so well in their seven other Smart Works centres across the UK.

Smart Works Leeds approached our Leeds branch to see if we could support with the fire safety element of the building. The branch were pleased to have been contacted and offered to provide free labour to modify an existing wireless EMS fire alarm system to ensure the building was safe and compliant before their launch. Our team added 5 additional smoke detectors to the system and this took a couple of half day visits.

Kris Milner, Jackson Fire & Security Leeds, said: “We were delighted to provide this support and help the charity with their launch in Leeds. When we started to look into the work they do we were pleasantly surprised that charity’s exist like this to support unemployed women. The success rate they have is brilliant with 64% of their clients going on to get a job.”

Amanda O’Neill, Smart Works Leeds manager, said: “Jackson Fire & Security went above and beyond to help us get the facility ready for opening. We had so many different things to organise but the fire alarm was something we didn’t need to worry about. Kris took that worry away and liaised with building control to understand and deliver our requirements.”

Women are referred to Smart Works from organisations such as job centres, work programmes, prisons, care homes, homeless shelters and mental health charities. They provide high quality interview clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need. Half have been unsuccessful in over 20 applications. A third have been turned down from over 50 jobs. After visiting Smart Works Leeds over 80% of the women referred to us have gone on to secure employment.

Named Social Action Charity of the Year 2017 at the National Charity Awards, it is their mission to ensure any woman who needs their help should be able to come to a Smart Works centre.

Many organisations run a clothing drive or fundraising day on behalf of Smart Works, which is an easy and fun way to secure a large number of clothing donations and vital funds, and ensure that great quality clothing is put to the best possible use and the centre can continue to operate,

Formed in 1991, Jackson Fire & Security has built a reputation for quality, reliability and service, and is NSI gold-accredited for fire and security systems.

We provide a one-call service whereby their engineers service fire and security systems, plus emergency lighting and fire extinguishers during a single visit, to save inconvenience and site attendance fees for customers.

Jackson Fire & Security employs over 50 people across branches in North Wales, North West England, Yorkshire, Teesside, the Midlands, Cambridgeshire, London and Surrey.

For further information on the charity Smart Works, visit: https://smartworks.org.uk