Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Charities help with interviews

TWO charities have joined forces to help prepare candidates interviewing for social care roles.

Smart Works Reading is providing remote interview coaching, either on the phone or by video conference, to candidates from Autism at Kingwood to help them secure new positions.

Autism at Kingwood helps people with autism and Asperger Syndrome, while Smart Works assists  women in need into employment.

Social care organisations are experiencing a surge in responses to job vacancies as individuals’ circumstances are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Smart Works and Autism at Kingwood are working to recruit and advise the best interview candidates, some of whom may have not previously applied for a care sector role.

All Autism at Kingwood interview candidates are given a letter signposting them to Smart Works Reading if they are female, or an equivalent service run by social enterprise Mapis if they are male.

Smart Works Reading then supports each client to identify their transferable skills and build up their selfconfidence.

The service is free and is open to any woman from the Thames Valley with a confirmed interview. The charity also reaches out to employers who are recruiting.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, who founded Autism at Kingwood and lives in Henley, said: “Getting women into work and helping women realise their expertise and skills is something I am passionate about.

“Kingwood has vacancies for support workers, a job that I value so highly — support workers were a lifeline for my autistic son Giles. 

“It is good that Smart Works Reading will help applicants with interview skills as well as a new interview outfit.”

Women in the Thames Valley who would like free interview coaching can contact Smart Works Reading on 0118 959 4245 or email

Autism at Kingwood has vacancies in Reading and throughout the Thames Valley. For more information, email recruitment@ or visit

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