Josephine Ngare has known her fair share of hardship and struggle, but credits the confidence she gained from Dress for Success as a driving force for turning her life around.
Ngare is one of 1000 women the organisation has helped gain sustainable employment and financial independence in the past five years and with the help of a $10,000 grant from the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, the organisation will be able to help even more.
Ngare said the network of support, professional attire, and development tools she received through Dress for Success helped her feel good about herself and securing full-time work.
"The ladies really know how to make you feel like a strong, independent woman."
Ngare has made a real impression on her new manager Christine de Vries from Damar, who acknowledged her new employee's work ethic and contribution.
"Ms Ngare's story is an inspiration to our whole logistics team, she is always smiling and happy to help. Her tenacity to do her job to a high standard, her attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile regardless," de Vries said.
"Jo started as a casual at Damar; accepted a permanent role soon after and is now a seasoned picker packer embarking on training to expand her skills and responsibility within the logistics team. Truly an awesome achievement for her."
Dress for Success president Michelle Pleydell joined to help members of the community thrive in work and in life.
She said the grant would allow the organisation to expand its reach and increase the number of clients it could place into its career centre programme while also providing further formal support, such as confidence building and self-awareness.
"Rotorua Charitable Energy Trust has supported us ever since we started in 2011 and we're very grateful for the local support, as it gives us the confidence to grow our programmes, with the knowledge we're impacting our community."
She said the goal of the career centre programme was two-fold - to help individuals with the confidence to find meaningful work and then to help them start a new job.
"It includes skills training covering topics such as how to interact with colleagues, ways to get to work and finding child care," Pleydell said.
Rotorua Trust chairman Stewart Edward said Dress for Success was an example of a voluntary organisation making a significant difference in the lives of Rotorua people.
"Last year the organisation helped 424 people to take the first step into the job market. The work they are doing has transformed and grown to the point where it can now offer a full wraparound service in terms of the career centre, the dressing service, and maintaining contact with clients after the initial contact to determine their success.
"Following last year's Careers Expo, the organisation identified a need for its service in high schools and is including that in this year's programme," Edward said.
"The work Dress for Success does ties in well with one of our strategic priorities – helping people transition into the workforce. The numbers of people they've helped speak for themselves, and we are proud to be able to continue to support them financially, so they can help with getting more people into jobs."
Grants Approved – April 2018
Complex Chronic Illness Support Inc - $2500
Dress for Success - $10,000
Get Kids Active Charitable Trust - $5000
John Paul College - $500
NZ Aria Trust - $15,000
One Chance Charitable Trust - $2500
Opus Chamber Orchestra - $12,000
Project Litefoot Trust - $7000
Rotorua Bike Festival Trust - $20,000
Rotorua Careers Expo Trust - $7000
Rotorua Children's Art House Trust - $13,000
Selwyn Kindergarten - $5000
Women's Shed - $6000