A clothing donation campaign in the Jewellery Quarter has been labelled a success after businesses and residents donated hundreds of items during the first ‘JQ Suit Drive’.
Suited for Success, a Birmingham charity that collects and provides donated clothes for unemployed men and women, partnered with the Jewellery Quarter BID (JQBID), the Jewellery Quarter West Midlands Police Team, The Big Peg and TimeBank to run the week-long initiative (2nd – 6th October).
Throughout the week, people were encouraged to donate gently worn suits and smart workwear at The Big Peg collection point in the Jewellery Quarter. Timebank, a national volunteering charity, and JQBID ambassadors also visited local businesses to collect donations.
Patricia White, Suited for Success Managing Director, explained how the items donated during the JQ Suit Drive will change a life: “Making a great first impression is vital for anyone attending a job interview. However, not being able to afford an interview suit and getting help to prepare for an interview can be a huge barrier into employment for many unemployed men and women in Birmingham, especially when struggling to get by on benefits, have recently been homeless or just released from prison.
“We are so grateful for the support from the Jewellery Quarter businesses, workers and residents. The fantastic donations collected will really help towards providing unemployed men and women with suitable interview outfits that will give them the confidence they need to make that positive first impression in a job interview that could change their life.”
Led by Sergeant James Ashcroft, the local policing team in the Jewellery Quarter fully supported the initiative and he commentated: “The JQ Suit Drive is a fantastic initiative for the Jewellery Quarter. It was great to see all the community including residents and businesses giving back to help those who may have fallen on hard times. Thank you to everyone who has taken part and donated.”
The support from businesses was highlighted by Nicola Ridler, Chairman of the JQBID and property manager at The Big Peg: “The first ever JQ Suit Drive connected several partners in the Jewellery Quarter including the JQBID and The Big Peg to raise awareness for a local charity. Suited for Success offers help and support to unemployed men and women seeking employment by providing clothes for potential job interviews.”
“A number of the businesses also got behind the initiative and donated suits, shoes and accessories which was really encouraging to see and reflected why we have such a good community spirit in this part of Birmingham.”
Plans are underway for a second JQ Suit Drive in early 2018.
Photo caption [Blue Monday] – Jewellery Quarter West Midlands Police Team, Andy Forster (TimeBank), Patricia White (Suited for Success), Luke Crane (Jewellery Quarter BID), Sharon Murphy (The Big Peg)