Campaign to help ex-offenders find work

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The Dress It Forward Campaign launches 12th March. Pic © Stephanie Wright 2015

The Dress It Forward Campaign launches 12th March. Pic © Stephanie Wright 2015

Women are being asked to donate their work clothes for a campaign which aims to help female ex-offenders back into employment.

The ‘Dress It Forward’ campaign will officially be launched on 12th March by Lord Mayor councillor Erica Kemp at the Northern Power Women Conference in the city;s Hilton Hotel.

The campaign has been created by Stephanie Wright, the director of Sefton and Liverpool Women in Business. She said she felt that more needed to be done to help female ex-offenders get back into work and feel confident to go to interviews.

Wright hopes to get women from across Merseyside and beyond to donate old work wear, including shoes and handbags. The plan is to help women that Sefton and Liverpool WIB Community Integrated Care work with at the ISIS Centre and Tomorrow’s Women Wirral as part of the “Inspired to Independence” programme.

Wright told JMU Journalism: “I believe this campaign is crucial in our quest to prevent female offenders from re-offending.

“By showing them that women across the region want to help them by giving them resources to overcome barriers as simple as not having the right outfit for interviews or meetings, we are sending them the message that they are valued members of society.

“If, as a result of this campaign, we can get more women into fulfilling employment or self-employment, this will have a significant impact on the likelihood of them re-offending.”

The campaign hopes to find a suitable venue for women to run their own Dress It Forward vintage boutique which can provide work experience for women looking for employment.

Lord Mayor Kemp said: “I am thrilled to be launching the Dress It Forward campaign as it is an initiative that should boost employment rates and change the stigma that is often attached to employing ex-offenders.”

Women can donate their old work wear at drop-off points which are located throughout the city centre, including Liverpool Town Hall.

About Kayleigh Watthey, JMU Journalism