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Details of how to nominate for one of our 9 highly regarded Force For Good awards, and more information of previous winners, can be found below.

Our 2024 Awards

An independent fashion designer, shop or online boutique, based in Yorkshire, with community and/or sustainability at their heart as they deliver brilliant design and/or excellent customer experience and quality.

 

Open to all fashion stores, from small independents to large retailers with multiple stores and Yorkshire-based online retailers. We are looking for teams who strive to engage with and make a difference to their community and their environment. Is there a fashion store in Yorkshire that you love, where the staff always go that extra mile to make you look fabulous and feel confident.

For students, graduates and emerging designers, based in Yorkshire, who have a strong focus on sustainability and/or inclusivity challenges. Who has impressed you with their innovative portfolio, collections and projects? Who is the One to Watch?

 

Which Yorkshire-based social media fashion icon do you admire most? Who wears it well, but also does so much more than that, highlighting issues of inclusivity, sustainability and ethics, championing others and striving always to use fashion as a force for good?

 

For an individual or a team working in the fashion and style creative fields in Yorkshire including photography, videography, fashion styling, and content creating. We are looking for those whose work is striking and diverse, underpinned by ethical and sustainable considerations.

 

This will be an organisation based in Yorkshire who have gone above and beyond to support the work of Smart Works Leeds. Perhaps they have fundraised, offered support and advice, hosted events, volunteered, or all of the above.

 

This award will recognise a stand out fundraising or awareness raising event hosted by a supporter in aid of Smart Works Leeds.

 

This category recognises an all-round amazing supporter of the work of Smart Works Leeds. The winner may champion
the cause, raising much needed awareness, they may fundraise through work or donate money or clothing personally, or they may volunteer their time and skills to support the charity

 

Throughout the year, Smart Works Leeds celebrate many fantastic moments. From transformational coaching and styling sessions that leave clients feeling empowered, to learning a client has got a job, to events where the community together to celebrate and support their work, this award will recognise a particular moment of magic.

 

Outstanding Contribution to Smart Works

There will also be a special award on the night celebrating an individual, group or company who have gone above and beyond, providing transformational support
for the work of Smart Works Leeds through fundraising, volunteering or championing the cause. Because of this winner, Smart Works Leeds is able to support more women than ever before.

Meet the 2023 Winners

Retail Team of the Year- John Lewis Personal Styling

Nominated for their commitment to helping others look and feel their most confident selves, their support and championing of Smart Works and their love of fashion that can be repeatedly worn and loved over and over again, we were delighted to welcome the John Lewis Personal Styling Team to the stage to collect this award. They said:

“The event was fabulous and felt so positive and enriching. Winning was just surreal and caught us completely off guard!”

Influencer of the Year- Laura Fawcett

Nominated for her amazing work in using her platform to help followers identify their own style, and create a capsule wardrobe that reflects their personality and fits their lifestyle. Committed to slowing down over-consumption and encouraging investment in timeless and loved pieces, she organically grew her platform to create a confidence boosting community. She said:

“When I saw the others shortlisted I was honoured to be in this category! The event was so incredible, so much fun and a warm and supportive atmosphere. Winning was a complete shock- I am so grateful to have been recognised in this way!”

Supporter of the Year- Robyn Atkinson

Nominated for her commitment to referring women to Smart Works from her organisation, Blue Apple Training, Robyn is a champion for our work and has overseen the support of over 80 women. She said:

“Referring women to Smartworks always just made sense to me. I was very excited to be nominated and attend the Ball. The event was amazing, it felt very posh but also relaxed in that you didn’t feel judged. It felt like a safe space with like minded people. I was in complete shock when I won. I was listening to the nominations being read out and I had already imagined hearing someone else’s name being called, and when it was mine I felt a moment of disbelief where I didn’t feel like it was real. I was overjoyed and on a high for a good few days!”

Outstanding Contribution to Smart Works Leeds- Leeds Building Society

Nominated multiple times for their transformational support of the charity during 2023, Leeds Building Society donated an incredible £55,000 to enable us to support over 300 women from the most disadvantaged areas of Leeds. Key achievements with this grant include:

  • Over 50% of women supported to prepare for an interview from the most deprived areas of Leeds secured a job within one month of their appointment
  • 96% of all clients supported said the service increased their confidence
  • 65% of all Leeds based clients have been from the most deprived areas of the city
  • 79% increase in the number of our clients from these areas (compared to March 2022-March 2023)
  • 300% increase in our delivery of Career Coaching, for clients further from the labour market who require a confidence boost (from 35 appointments to 140)

Not only this, but they have volunteered their time in our centre to help in our wardrobe and other critical tasks, as well as fundraising activities throughout the year.

Imogen, part of their CSR team said “We were pleased to hear we were shortlisted for an award and that our support was so valuable to Smart Works. It always great to hear that our grants mean so much to the organisations we support. The event was fun and inspiring, and it was a particular highlight to hear from some of the clients Smart Works has supported”

On celebrating their well deserved win, she said: “It was great to win and have the chance as a team to celebrate the work behind the scenes in our partnership with Smart Works.”

Smart Works Leeds Magic Moment 2023- Fran Murphy and Nicola Drummond

Fran and Nicola are fantastic ambassadors and champions of the transformational service that Smart Works Leeds provides. Our magic moment came when they were invited to speak at the launch event for The Smart Works Leeds Collective and following their Q&A there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
They told their stories with charisma, charm and clarity and were more than willing to talk about their experience of unemployment and what having a job means to them now.
Nicola said “To find out I had been shortlisted for an award at the first Fashion As a Force For Good ceremony made me speechless, shocked and overwhelmed. I thought it was a dream! The event was amazing and exciting, and when I won the award for Magic Moment I was crying but happy. The award is something I will cherish forever, and I can tell my children.”

Smart Works Leeds Indie of The Year- Nenya

When the war broke out with Russia in Ukraine in early 2022, winner of the 2023 Fashion As A Force For Good Indie of the Year award,  Yana Smaglo,  awoke to the sound of bombs being dropped outside her home in Kyiv. She recalls having 15 minutes to pack her things and flee, leaving behind friends, family, her home and successful career as a fashion designer and business owner.

Arriving in Yorkshire, Yana was determined not only to build her own business, but to support other Ukrainian business owners and designers, and to support the Ukrainian economy from afar. The amazing Nenya was born (which means motherland), a distribution company that represents Ukrainian brands and products on an international stage. Through Nenya, Yana has ensured that Ukrainian fashion brands can be distributed across 3 continents, building over 90 wholesale partners and working with department stores. In creating Nenya, she has supported Ukrainian designers and brands, and one of her missions is to grow and employ other Ukrainian refugees.

On hearing of her nomination for the award Yana said “I didn’t expect it at all. From day one, I have been so focussed on each task to get Nenya off the ground, it’s so amazing to know others are noticing my goals and the importance of what I’m doing.”

On her richly deserved win, Yana said: “It was such a big honour for me to win on the night. It was my biggest achievement of 2023 and the ball itself was so much fun. It was great to make connections with likeminded people, and to celebrate a wonderful cause too. It was my first ball here in the UK and winning was so unexpected!”