779. Maria Lenn
Dr Maria Lenn, from London, founded 'Suited and Booted’ in 2012 to provide interview clothing for unemployed men who cannot afford to buy suits.
Similar organisations exist to support disadvantaged women, and Maria saw a gap in the support available to men. The charity helps more than 1,300 men a year to look their best in a job interview, offering haircuts and shaves as well as clothes, to increase the confidence of their clients as well as their likelihood of receiving a job offer. Under Maria’s leadership, ‘Suited and Booted’ fundraises over £50,000 a year to finance their work and has recruited 19 volunteers. Over 100 people have benefitted from the charity’s additional service of interview training.
In a personal letter to Maria, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Suited and Booted’, you have helped thousands of men to transform their lives, by boosting their confidence ahead of job interviews. You should be proud of your fundraising efforts and your success in inspiring others to volunteer for such a worthwhile cause.”
“We started ‘Suited and Booted’ to give vulnerable men and youths extra help to get into work and turn their lives round. Our volunteers, including costume designers, a teacher and a nurse, transform their appearance and their motivation. We have tremendous support from the City firms and the City Livery companies we work with, and from the public who donate suits to us. It is hard work, but enormously rewarding to see what a difference our help can make.”
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