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A Second Chance at Success

A Second Chance at Success

The charity, Dress for Success, is supporting ex-offenders with a second chance at a new life.

Kate, a 32-year-old mother of two, found herself in prison for a second time after succumbing to the pressure of drugs and offending.

Her turn-around started with a poem she wrote in prison about her struggle with addictions and her growing determination to make something of her life. This meant making some hard decisions and finding a job. Not an easy feat in this job market for anyone let alone an ex-offender who has never worked in 32 years.

Despite her lack of employment experience, Kate began to thrive while in prison working in the warehouse/distribution unit. She learnt new skills, and helped train and mentor new girls coming into the work environment at the prison. After being shifted to a supported accommodation on her release, she was faced with the hard reality of starting from scratch with only the clothes on her back. Fortunately, she was able to overcome this daunting prospect with the support of the charity Dress for Success Auckland.

Having just been released from prison she not only had no clothes or money, but had completely lost her sense of self, her self-worth and her confidence. With the support from PARS (People at Risk Solutions), she was referred to Dress for Success Auckland. It was here, in one hour at the Dress for Success Auckland showroom with a personal stylist that her future changed.

The experience left her with not only a full set of professional attire, shoes, hand-bag and make-up, but more importantly empowered her to feel confident to interview for and secure employment.

It was a long road and Kate had to make hard decisions along the way to leave her children on the east coast with their grandmother, in order for her to find work and make a better life for them.

Now she is one of the many success stories at Dress for Success Auckland and one of 1500 women the charity sees each year to prepare them for work and empower them and their families towards financial independence.

As a non-government funded organisation, Dress for Success provides a unique service for women seeking employment through understanding the connection between how women look, how they feel and how they perform. Clients of Dress for Success are from low-income households and are referred by over 300 referring organisations in greater Auckland. The organisation believes that self-assured, employed women become strong role models for their families and their communities.

As one of over 130 affiliates worldwide, Dress for Success relies on grants, donations and fundraising to keep its doors open. If you are wondering how you can help, come along to its one and only fundraising event of the year – The Cabaret in the Cathedral on 28 August at St Matthews in the City – giving you an ideal opportunity to support this trustworthy cause. The night promises to be a unique extravaganza of unpredictable fun, glitz, glamour and theatre all with the sophistication and glamour that Dress for Success Auckland is known for! Tickets are on sale now so visit the website today.

www.dressforsuccessauckland.org.nz

*Name changed for privacy purposes

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