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Dress for Success launches in Newcastle to help local women gain confidence and employment

Disadvantaged women in the Hunter will be empowered to 'dress for success' to secure employment following the expansion of global charity, Dress for Success, in the region.

The not-for-profit organisation recently set up shop in the Hunter and has now received a $5,000 grant from nib health funds (nib) to secure 12 months' worth of rent in their new home on Hunter Street.

Newcastle Lead of Dress for Success, Dr Kate Davies, said the charity is excited to be able to bring the service to Newcastle and help women of all backgrounds find the confidence to achieve economic independence.

"Following a feasibility study last year, we identified women in the Hunter were facing challenges to entering the workforce and needed support to create positive relationships with both themselves and others," Dr Davies said.

"Thanks to our founding partnership with nib we're now able to deliver face-to-face services to these women in need including good quality professional clothing, styling, mentoring and training," she added.

The global charitable organisation is run by volunteers and offers free clothing, styling and job training for women who have been out of work for a long time, have never been employed, or are re-entering the workforce.

nib Head of Community, Amy Tribe, said finding employment can be a difficult and stressful experience for many people, particularly women who are vulnerable or disadvantaged in our community.

"These women often face a range of obstacles while searching for employment including leaving unhealthy relationships, or recently migrating to Australia. By building their confidence through networking, job training or simply helping them feel their best while seeking work, we can help break down these barriers," Mrs Tribe said.

"We believe in inclusion and equal opportunity at nib so supporting a charity that advocates for this while helping to improve the livelihoods of Novocastrian women is such a clear fit for us," she said.

Dress for Success was selected by nib employees to support as part of the health insurer's employee giving and corporate volunteering program. A clothing drive is also currently underway at each of nib's offices across Australia and New Zealand to donate to their local Dress for Success.

Women looking to volunteer or donate clothing, or agencies looking to refer women for an appointment with Dress for Success should contact the Newcastle team at [email protected].