In a climate with 2.63 million people unemployed in the UK, the pressure is on to impress at interview and studies have shown that first impressions, like what you wear, affect your fundamental judgement of a person.
For seven weeks, suits were donated to the Suit for Success campaign and donators were rewarded with a £50 tailoring voucher. Donated suits were gifted to homelessness charities Amber, Broadway and Emmaus, who all work with their members to help them support themselves.
Each charity offers work and learning outreach programs to their members to equip them with the skills and confidence they need to get a job and be able to fully support themselves. But they regularly find their members have nothing to wear to their interview, which affects their confidence and impacts that all-important ‘first impression’. By providing them with a smart suit we are making the process just a little bit easier.
F1 analyst and Amber supporter Eddie Jordan and television presenter Rick Edwards backed the campaign.
Paul Wilson is a trustee at Broadway – he is 57 and came to Broadway in 2008; Paul benefited from Eddie Jordan’s suit and is currently looking for work.
In 2003, Paul was married with two children, and living in London, where he owned his own construction business with a childhood friend. When he caught his wife having an affair with his business partner, not only did his marriage breakdown, but it also signaled the end of his business. When he approached the council for help, he was informed that he was not a priority for housing, and he ended up sleeping on the streets. Due to the trauma of this, Paul started drinking heavily as a coping mechanism. After a long process of rehab, social services put Paul in touch with Broadway. Paul is now an incredibly active member of not just Broadway, but homelessness services throughout London. He is now living completely independently, and looking for a job.
A Suit That Fits’s co-founder, Warren Bennett says of the Suit for Success campaign, ‘wearing a suit has a massive effect on confidence – especially when looking for work. If we can help individuals to feel more confident when going to interviews, and therefore increase their chances of getting a job – then the campaign will have been a resounding success.’