Unemployment clothing project faces closure

Job interview clothing web

Grassroots Clothing has made an urgent plea for support

13th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Looking the part is often key to getting that dream job.

However an organisation which helps men to get back in to work by ensuring that they have business wear for job interviews is facing a struggle to survive.

Grassroots Clothing was set up two years ago to help ensure that those looking to work are given the best possible chance of securing employment.

And despite having thousands of suits which are ready for job seekers, the groups is facing a battle for survival as it only has enough funds to survive until the end of the year.

“We have got a unit full of clothing,” said Archie Lowe. “We had to get a storage container to store the suits in while we created an inventory. We managed to get one for free but it has to go back in December.

“We are now looking to distribute the stock and are working with 32 organisations across Scotland.”

The project was originally setup when Lowe and co-founder Joanna Foottit were working as employment advisers for Community Renewal.

However Grassroots was left in limbo when the pair took redundancy from the charity earlier this summer.

“The problem we have is that just now we are not recognised as anything,” said Lowe. “We were part of Community Renewal, and when we left the project went with us.

“We are not a charity or a community interest project. We have to take that forward but we are still trying to work that out.

“We had to crowdfund to get us through the first few months, and after we put an article in the Edinburgh Evening News last week we managed to secure the funding from a trust which will keep us going until the end of the year.

“But what we are finding just now is that there is very restricted funding available to us. We are hoping that someone may come forward to fund us for the first year or that can give us advice on how to get sorted and access funding.”

The project was started as there was no charity helping to dress male job seekers – although Smart Works and Dress for Success both run similar projects for women. Grassworks was boosted by a donation of 3000 suits from Royal Bank of Scotland, but had to turn down a further 11,000 suits as it could not handle such a large donation.

“Myself and Joanna were working as employment advisers for Community Renewal, and one thing that kept creeping up was that the people we were working with kept getting interviews but not the job,” said Lowe.

“We got feedback that this was often due to the appearance of those turning up for interview was often leading to rejection. I think first impressions are often key.

“We just started gathering clothing we could give to people, put it in a cupboard and it just grew from there really.”

If you think you can help Grassroots Clothing, contact Archie Lowe on 07828432571 or email [email protected]