Probation helps women ‘Dress for Success’
The Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) has worked in partnership with Women’s Aid for many years in tackling domestic abuse.
The Dress for Success initiative is an exciting and innovative project that empowers all women into the workplace from positions of disadvantage. This partnership with Dress for Success Northern Ireland® will support women who have been victims of domestic abuse, or women who are supervised by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, to achieve independence. The project provides professional clothing and styling, interview coaching and ongoing support once they re-join the workplace, it also provides a network of support to help women thrive in life, in work and in any training opportunities they have. As well as dealing with a range of issues, these women are often victims themselves, and have experienced high levels of disadvantage throughout their lives.
Foyle Women’s Aid established Dress for Success Foyle in December 2018 when it joined the global network of affiliates. In 2021 Foyle Women’s Aid strategically positioned the brand in Belfast, with premises in the heart of the City, and are now Dress for Success Northern Ireland, with two branches, Derry and Belfast.
Dr Geraldine O’Hare, Director of Rehabilitation PBNI, says: “Dress for Success is an initiative which will positively affect the lives of the women we work with. Employment is a key factor in reducing reoffending and, with the services of dress for success, women on probation can be assisted towards secure employment to benefit themselves, build their confidence and provide for their families. PBNI is delighted to support this initiative which changes lives for safer communities.”
Sarah Quinn is the Programme Manager for Dress for Success Northern Ireland; “Our mission at Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. We deliver our services to all women seeking employment or who are attending a key event in their lives, from across Northern Ireland.
“Our intervention is simple; we deliver a one-to-one styling session and provide clothing to help women feel confident and boost their self-esteem. We also deliver interview preparation sessions with one of our volunteer interview coaches who will enable them to perfect their interview techniques and be ready for the real thing, and when they reach employment, we provide them with a capsule wardrobe.”
The Dress for Success vision is a world where women do not live in poverty; are treated with dignity and respect; and are strengthening their families and shaping their communities. The Probation service works with people who have offended to Change Lives for Safer Communities in Northern Ireland.
For more information contact PBNI Head of Communications Gail McGreevy on 078 2589 7955 or Lisa Maginnis on 079 7975 8011