Law firm Gordons has donated £11,000 to its annual charity partner Smart Works Leeds, which helps women across the city secure employment and change the trajectory of their lives

In addition to fundraising, over the course of 12 months Gordons’ staff donated clothes and provided the charity with volunteering assistance to help raise funds in order to support women from diverse backgrounds and ages throughout their employment journey.

Smart Works Leeds opened in November 2019 and is an independent member of the UK charity’s national network. Its mission is to help unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at interviews, return to employment and transform their lives.

The charity offers coaching on how to apply for jobs and interview for the roles. As part of the support it offers, Smart Works Leeds provides women with high-quality clothes for interviews, as well as a wardrobe of clothing options for successful candidates to wear to work.

Staff at Gordons took part in a range of activities to raise money throughout the year. These included the Cycle For Smart Works challenge, which saw groups of five people ride a combined 500 miles over the course of a week, a 20-mile walk through the Yorkshire countryside, a charity football match, quiz night and bake sales.

Alongside this, the firm’s staff volunteered at the charity’s Fashion Sales. The sales comprised items donated by designer and premium high street brands available at massively discounted prices to help raise funds for Smart Works Leeds.

Commenting on the partnership, Tracy Fletcher, co-chair of Smart Works Leeds, said: “We have been thrilled with the support Gordons have given us as our charity partner over the last 12 months.

“Their fundraising efforts and the additional volunteering hours provided have already made a huge difference to us. We are committed to helping 1000 women in and around West Yorkshire this year and Gordons’ efforts are already helping us to achieve this.

“They have set the benchmark high as a pro-active charity partner and we look forward to continuing to build this special relationship.”

Smart Works was nominated by Lauren Wills-Dixon and selected by Gordons’ staff. Over the past 10 years, the firm has raised more than £185,000 for its chosen charities.

These include Age UK Bradford District, homelessness charity Centrepoint Bradford, national children’s charity KidsOut and The Friends of Alfie Martin.

Gordons solicitor, Rebecca D’Arcy, who led the firm’s involvement with the charity, said: “It’s fantastic that so many of our colleagues took part in challenges or events and volunteered their own time to support and raise donations for Smart Works Leeds.

“The service Smart Works Leeds provides is invaluable in supporting and empowering women of all backgrounds and ages throughout their employment journey.

“Gordons is committed to championing diversity, inclusion and social mobility in the legal sector and beyond, so we’re very pleased to have raised such a significant sum for such a worthy and relevant cause.”