Not-for-profit helps tackle unemployment by dressing candidates for job interviews

Well Suited, which is a not-for profit in Carlisle city centre, was set up in April earlier this year and provides formal wear for job interviews, funerals and also for school proms. 

Those who use the service can either borrow the clothes and return them or keep them to use again. 

The organisation hopes that by providing free smart clothing, it can help people make a good first impression and build long term confidence. 

Andrew Ramage is currently living in temporary housing in Carlisle and needed an outfit for an important meeting. He says that the clothes helped him to feel more confident. 

Andrew said: “I recently became homeless because my landlord sold the property I was renting. I’m kind of struggling financially at the minute.

“Looking for the funds to get what I needed, it was going to give me more stress so [Well Suited] really helped me out."

Wendy Haslam was inspired to start the company after seeing a similar scheme in Birmingham. Credit: ITV

Philip Davidson, who also lives in temporary housing in Carlisle, was attending a friend’s funeral and didn’t have enough money to buy a suit. 

Philip said: “It was really important to have something to wear and it’s just like going to a real shop.”

Wendy Haslam was inspired to start the company after seeing a similar scheme in Birmingham. 

Wendy, who is currently the only in person volunteer at the site, said: “Most people have clothes in our wardrobe that we don't ever wear or we've bought for an occasion and it gets worn once.

"So it's a very simple thing, isn't it? People with clothes that they don't need and people who need smart clothing.

"It shouldn't be a barrier to employment for people looking for a job but when you go along to an interview, if you don't feel confident, you're not able to look somebody in the eye and smile at them and sell yourself."

Well Suited hopes to expand further by taking on more volunteers and planning fundraising events in the near future.