For the average city worker, a sharp suit, cufflinks and shiny shoes can be taken for granted but for someone who is homeless and has no one to turn to it can mean the end of despair.
Suited & Booted is a charity whose soul mission is to dramatically improve the lives of vulnerable men by providing smart clothing and interview advice for those who are unemployed or homeless but they need your help to continue improving lives.
Their clients include veterans, men with mental health issues and former prisoners who are in need of support, both financial and practical. Dr Maria Lenn, Chief Executive of Suited & Booted spoke to Richard Hatch on Forces Radio BFBS about the importance of the work they do which you can hear in full above.
“We give all our clients a helping hand into the world of work. We are a transformational charity and when a client leaves us they often don’t want to take off their suits… because they’re feeling so different about themselves.”
These men are desperate to turn their lives around but there’s an obstacle getting in the way. They don’t have the means to turn up to an interview looking smart which can be a crucial part of any interview.
A fresh new suit combined with some interview guidance and CV help can boost self-confidence to hopefully increase their chances of getting a job.
“Everything changes, body language changes. Our clients put their shoulders back and one of our volunteers said our clients light up. They just walk out completely differently.”
The London based charity relies on the help of volunteers, financial contributions and clothing donations to help these men and could do with your help.
As you can imagine there is a huge demand for the charities services. In the first year they managed to help 400 vulnerable men and now five years on they see 1300 clients and are expecting that number to grow.
This means more suits, fundraising and an “Army of volunteers”.
“We need to steam the suits, iron the shirts get everything organised and we’re absolutely desperate for shoes and cufflinks.”
The charity is fortunate to be based in London because there are many law firms and banks or generous individuals who donate their suits to the cause.
If you’re wondering whether these suits actually make a difference at interviews, Dr Maria Lenn has some encouraging success rate numbers for you.
“We think it’s between 55% to 60%. We do see clients who can be very vulnerable. Sometimes our clients might be sleeping on the streets. The stories of courage and determination that I have heard are so touching and moving.”