Home » Workwear charity kits out jobseekers across South Wales thanks to NatWest funding
Cardiff Community News South Wales

Workwear charity kits out jobseekers across South Wales thanks to NatWest funding

Working Wardrobe Rachel Rodrigues with Matthew Maunder, Relationship Director Natwest and Jessica Shipman, Chair of Natwest Cymru Regional Board

A CHARITY committed to combating clothing poverty in South Wales has been awarded £15,000 from NatWest’s Cost of Living initiative.

Working Wardrobe supports individuals looking to return to employment by providing high quality workwear and interview outfits to those facing financial hardship.

The Moxie Foundation was founded during the Covid-19 pandemic by Cardiff recruitment firm, Moxie People when company directors spotted an urgent need to address the rise in joblessness and resulting poverty in the area, particularly within the service industry.

The organisation was originally set up to provide grants to support work-ready individuals facing financial hardship as they re-enter the workplace. Access to professional workwear was quickly identified as a key barrier and the group launched Working Wardrobe as a means of supplying workwear to job seekers looking for new opportunities.

Supported by leading clothing brands and generous public donors, Working Wardrobe has been able to amass a large range of professional clothing, ensuring people have access to options catered to different sectors and industries.  

Rachel Rodrigues, Operations Director at Moxie Foundation Working Wardrobe, said, “Clothing poverty became apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic and Working Wardrobe was meant to be a short-term project.  However, it became clear that this is a constant issue and a very real barrier to people being able to find or maintain employment.

“No-one should be made to feel inadequate or incapable of taking positive steps in their career because of what they have or don’t have to wear. We provide free, good quality clothing to people with a confirmed interview, training placement or volunteering opportunity and receive referrals from employability partners to make sure that people get the right outfit at the right time.

“We are a relatively new charity and while we have already made great strides forward, the funding we received from NatWest will be invaluable in getting a warehouse full of stock to the people who need it most. Working Wardrobe believes that if people feel more comfortable, they can be the best versions of themselves.”

NatWest’s grant of £15,000 will allow the team to invest in new delivery equipment to ensure Working Wardrobe’s stock can reach those in need of the service.

Working Wardrobe’s sustainable model ensures no clothing ends up in landfill by redirecting unsuitable donations to local school and college textile courses to be made into new garments or gifted to other charities, hospices, and crafting groups.

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With two hubs already established in Cardiff, the group is currently looking to partner with local venues to host clothing pop-up events and is constantly welcoming donations of suitable, high-quality clothing.

Jessica Shipman, Chair of NatWest Wales Board, added, “We are thrilled to be able to support Working Wardrobe in its mission to help people back into the workplace. Clothing might seem like a simple thing, but through our involvement with the charity we’ve seen first-hand how the right outfit can go a long way in boosting people’s confidence and helping them reach new opportunities.

“As a part of the Cost of Living Fund, in a collaborative effort with Welsh Government and Community Foundation Wales, we have granted over £1million to nearly 100 charities in Wales. The work they are doing to support local communities and address much-needed gaps is truly remarkable and we’re proud to play our part in continuing those efforts.”

Matthew Maunder Recruitment Specialist Banker for NatWest Cymru, said, “We know how challenging the recruitment market can be and a lack of adequate clothing should never be an additional barrier for those seeking employment.

“The efforts of Working Wardrobe is vital in breaking down these barriers and at NatWest Cymru, we are always looking for ways to support organisations that make a real difference in our communities and our wider economy.”

For more information on Working Wardrobe, please visit: www.workingwardrobe.org