SEE MORE GREAT PICTURES ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
An idea back in the Spring blossomed into a full blown Charity event this week, when we opened our doors to Suited & Booted (S&B), an organisation dedicated to mentoring and helping unemployed young men back into meaningful work.
We all knew as a team it was a project well worth supporting from the get go and we were not wrong. So coming in on our day off, drafting press releases, getting everything ready, felt like a worthwhile endeavour. And as the S&B team of volunteers and clients turned up the atmosphere in the salon was buzzing with good energy. Factor in as well the generous sponsorship of both L’Oreal and amazing volunteer professional photographer Monica.
Overall there was a real mutual sense of reward as well as encouragement. For all the Suited & Booted clients who came, we hope it was a positive experience.
Of course it’s important to look smart and feel well groomed before interviews. So we knew that was our key task for the day working with the Suited & Booted team. We offered advice where appropriate on hair styling and made sure everybody left with the right products for their hair.
As Naomi Scroggins, L’Oreal’s Communications Director, says: “It might seem superficial, but looking good is a crucial part of feeling good and having the confidence to carry you through all sorts of circumstances.”
If there was one surprise element that day, it was to discover just what a truly fantastic bunch of people the S&B volunteers and clients were. Men ready and willing to work hard who just hadn’t yet found that window of opportunity; volunteers with busy lives who still found time and wisdom to share with others; and a wonderful organiser – Marie Lenn.
Ross, one key volunteer and a regular television presenter in previous years, said: “I had lovely people in wardrobe departments helping me for years. In my working life I dressed like I was going to a wedding every day. So I know what a difference a good appearance can make.”
There was fun too. Everybody took part as we reported LIVE from the salon via FACEBOOK through the day. Was that the first time EVER that anybody ever posted “LIVE” coverage of an event on FACEBOOK?
The feedback so far? Samuel Motoko, one of Suited & Booted’s protegees and a budding Free Trade coffee entrepreneur, said: “A big thank you to Sergio’s team and to Suited & Booted. It’s about giving you a face lift, putting you out there, making you worthy of consideration to potential businessmen, contacts, mentors.”
Aaron Bennett, currently working at the Olympic Village and preparing for interviews once the Games are over, said: “Suited & Booted have helped make me look more professional. My employers at the moment actually said I was the best dressed to come for interview. That’s what I want.”
The event generated a tonne of activity on FACEBOOK, with “likes” and comments all over the place. Please feel free to take a look at our FACEBOOK Photo Album and voice your own support. The more visible Suited & Booted is the better and we of course also value all the back up you can give. If you can support Suited & Booted yourselves, then please read on…
Thank you all, thank you to my team and more news to follow soon.
Suited & Booted: Suited & Booted is a charitable project run by Maria Lenn and is 100% London-based. The project provides an invaluable service that offers clothing, job-interview advice, training and mentoring for vulnerable and disadvantaged men in London. The charity’s clients include the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, those with mental health problems and men with HIV/AIDS – people who may be struggling and in need of support, both financial and practical. They may be ill-equipped to ‘look the part’ and so be unable to give themselves the best possible chance at a job interview. Suited & Booted gets referrals from other charitable projects and organisations that are trying to get job interviews for men from London. These include Job Centre Plus, London Probation and Mildmay Hospital UK for the care of HIV/AIDS sufferers.