Clothes bank appeal for employment service

Employment advisers Dan Watson and Abi Shaw

A national mental health charity is appealing for donations of smart clothing to help support people who don’t own suitable clothing going for job interviews in Yorkshire.

Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, provides employment support to people living with mental health problems with the aim of finding full time – work, helping them secure volunteering opportunities or full time training.

The charity’s employment service in Kirklees and Dewsbury is now appealing for people to donate their unwanted business outfits to help clients at the service who don’t own smart clothing for a job interview.

Local employment advisor Daniel Watson came up with the idea. He said: “We thought of a clothes bank after one of our clients struggled to put together a suitable outfit for an interview. It made us realise this could be a big problem for a lot of people and that with a bit of community effort we could help people look the part for their interviews.

“We started off by asking around our colleagues, friends and families but now we’re rolling out the appeal to the public to come forward and donate their unwanted smart clothes to help people dress to impress.

“We hope this will help people by giving them one less thing to worry about after they have done the hard work of applying for a job and getting invited to interview.”

The team in Kirklees is also appealing to local businesses and supermarkets to donate any unwanted stock or end of the line items in an effort to bolster the free to use clothes bank. They’re also appealing for assistance from a local laundrette to help them keep the clothes in prime condition.

Daron Pendleton found employment with help from Richmond Fellowship. He feels the scheme will help people with mental health problems succeed at interviews. He said: “When it came to my interview, I knew the importance of making a good impression and how dressing smart can give you extra confidence to perform to the best of your ability.

“At the time of my interview I’d been unemployed for a while and money was short. I had to borrow from my granddad to buy a pair of smart shoes and a new shirt. This clothes bank will be very useful for people facing a similar situation to mine but without the lifeline of family to help them look smart and go into the interview full of self-belief.”

Derek Caren, chief executive of Richmond Fellowship, said: “This is a fantastic community scheme to help people with mental health problems look the part for their big job interviews.

“A job interview is a nervous moment for anyone but for people who have lived experience of mental health problems it can be an extra stressful time. By having a bank of clothes in all sizes for men and women that is free to access, it gives people the confidence and reassurance of looking professional for a job interview.

“If anyone has any unwanted smart clothes, please come forward and support the team in Kirklees and make a difference to people’s lives.”

For more information on the clothes bank or to donate your items, contact Daniel Watson on 01484 434886 or email

Find out about our Kirkless and Dewsbury employment service here

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