top of page


In Aid of

Smart Works

Smart Works

Amount donated: £24,500

2018’s charity was Smart Works, an amazing charity that provides high quality interview clothes and interview training to unemployed women in need. Smart Works harness the power of clothes and confidence to allow a woman to be her best at a crucial moment in her life, giving her the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools required to succeed at interview and transform her life.

Women are referred to the charity from organisations such as job centres, work programmes, prisons, care homes, homeless shelters and mental health charities. Half have been unsuccessful in over 20 applications. A third have been turned down from over 50 jobs. All are suffering from a lack of confidence in their own abilities.

The magic begins when a women enters the dressing room and is styled into her interview outfit, hers to keep, by trained volunteers. She looks in the mirror and sees a new and impressive version of herself. This is followed by one-to-one interview coaching, after which 65% of Smart Work’s clients go on to get the job.

Smart Works Edinburgh was established in 2014, and since then have supported over 700 women. Thanks to the generosity of our network of ladies, sponsors, and advertisers we raised £20,000 for Smart Works Edinburgh.

A Thank You from Smart Works:

Your generous donation to Smart Works has contributed greatly towards changing the direction of 232 women's lives in Scotland. During the course of this year, 70% of the women we have dressed and interview trained have returned to employment.

The growth of the charity is dependent on donations such as yours enabling us, after four years, to continue to broaden our horizons.

With your help, we now have two salaried employees who run the daily operations of the Edinburgh office. A manager who is 70% customer facing, establishing relationships in the market place and supporting the delivery and implementation of our strategy, and a new Administration and Communications Assistant who has made a massive impact to the procedures in the office organising our team of Volunteers and running our marketing and social media. The recruitment of these roles would not have been possible without your support.

2019 will be an exciting year for Smart Works Edinburgh, we are in the process of viewing larger office space to accommodate our planned growth in clients and voluntary staff and we are planning on launching a graduate placement programme.

We are also delighted to announce that the Duchess of Sussex has become the Royal Patron of Smart Works, this raises our profile further and is an amazing accolade for the Charity. As a global campaigner for women and their rights worldwide, The Duchess will shine a light on Smart Works, enabling more women to come to our centres and get the support that will transform their lives.

On behalf of Smart Works Edinburgh, we are very grateful for your generosity and wish you an enjoyable and successful  luncheon in 2019.


Lady Colquhoun

Lady Colquhoun

Kate has spent her life educating children. Firstly, as the founding Headmistress of Broomwood Hall which she started with 12 pupils in 1984, followed by Northcote Lodge, a boys prep school in 1983 and recently Northwood Senior, which opened its doors in September 2020. As Chairman of the Board of Northwood Schools, Kate oversees the education of over 760 pupils in South West London.

In addition, as a Trustee of the Northwood African Education Foundation, she also helped to set up St George’s School, which currently educates over 400 orphans in Gondar, one of the poorest regions in Ethiopia.

She and her husband Malcolm have three children and three grandchildren and divide their time between Luss, in Scotland, and London. Her hobbies include walking, reading and flying.

“This is the eleventh Women of Achievement Lunch and I am delighted to welcome everyone here today. The lunch was established to celebrate the achievements and contribution made in many fields by women who have Scottish connections and to support Scottish charities. A very warm welcome to those who are joining us for the first time and thanks to those who have returned to support us once again.

Last year's lunch was held in support of the Teapot Trust children's charity which uses art therapy as a way of helping young people cope with long term medical conditions. We have been so impressed by the work of the Charity and you can read more about their activities later in the programme.

This year's lunch is in support of Smart Works, a charity that provides high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to women in need. They were winners of the social care, advice and support category at the Charity Awards in 2017, and the proceeds of the lunch will be used to support their Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh. Thank you to Samantha Cameron's for her enlightening description of how the charity works and about her time as an interview coach at the centre in Central London. I too was privileged to visit the Centre and can vouch for the incredibly important job they are doing and how many lives are being changed as a result of their work.

Our speakers this year are Prue Leith, CBE, Tracy Edwards, MBE, and Christine Harley and we look forward to hearing from them.

My particular thanks go to the Committee who have worked so hard and given willingly of their time and talents to make this lunch such a success. Thank you all for joining us and for giving so generously to this very worthwhile cause.”


Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh
Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh
Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh
Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh
Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh
Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh


Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh

Christine Harley - Chairperson of Smart Works Edinburgh

Christine Harley (nee Sandilands) has enjoyed a successful career in Human Resources, starting at House of Fraser Plc in Glasgow and Aberdeen before moving to London with Etam Plc. 

In the early 90s, she was headhunted to The Gap Inc. where she established a framework for the nascent HR function including Training and Development, Compensation, Succession Planning, Employment Law and Recruitment to support the company's growth across the UK and Europe. Upon her return to Scotland, Christine moved into HR in the drinks industry with William Grant Ltd and Scottish & Newcastle PLC before taking a career break to start a family.

Christine joined Smart Works Edinburgh in 2014 in its start-up phase, initially as a volunteer, and then became a Trustee with responsibility for establishing policies, procedures, contracts and presenting to potential referral agents. She was appointed as Chair of Smart Works Edinburgh in September 2017. Her main responsibilities are working with Head Office to further develop the Edinburgh branch through the growth of a commercial board and operational team to deliver their strategy of increasing client referrals, developing corporate partnerships and fundraising. 

In the four years since she joined Smart Works, the charity has grown from having two offices in London and Edinburgh to becoming a national charity with seven locations throughout the UK. As Chair, Christine is looking forward to shaping Smart Works Edinburgh to pursue its primary aim of providing interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to out-of-work women on low incomes, enabling them to succeed at their job interview and change the direction of their life.

Christine lives in Edinburgh with her three children who are in fulltime education.

Prue Leith CBE - Novelist, TV Presenter, Restaurateur and Businesswoman

Prue Leith CBE - Novelist, TV Presenter, Restaurateur and Businesswoman

Prue Leith founded the Leith's group including Leith's School of Food and Wine, the Michelin Star restaurant, Leith's, and a catering company with contracts for the Orient Express Train, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, in total employing 500 people. 

She has been Chair of the environmental charity, Forum for the Future, the RSA, Ashridge Management College, 3E's Enterprises (a not-for profit turning round failing schools) and the School Food Trust, tasked with the reform of school catering. She chaired Focus on Food, the Soil Association's partner in the Food for Life initiative in schools, and has been a board member of British Rail, Safeway, Halifax, Whitbread, Woolworths, Omega and Belmond Hotels. 

A prolific food writer, she has also published a memoir, Relish, and seven novels. She is busy writing the third book in the food of Love trilogy. She is Chancellor of Queen Margaret University and is a judgeon the Great British Bake Off.

Tracy Edwards MBE - Round the World Sailor and Founder of The Maiden Factor

Tracy Edwards MBE - Round the World Sailor and Founder of The Maiden Factor

Tracy shot to fame when she skippered the first all-female crew in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race. 

In 1990 Tracy was awarded the MBE and wrote "Maiden"(Whitbread Sports Book of the Year). 

In 1998 Tracy put together the first all-female crew to attempt the fastest non-stop circumnavigation by sail. Her 92 foot catamaran broke five world records. "Living Every Second" was published in 2001. 

She retired from sailing in 2005 and worked for CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) as Project Manager for their International Youth Advisory Conference. During 2009 - 2012 she studied at Roehampton University and graduated with a Degree in Psychology. 

In 2011 Maiden was found rotting in the Seychelles and in 2014, Tracy began raising funds in order to rescue Maiden and bring her home to the UK. The Maiden Factor has been set up to promote and fundraise for the education of 65 million girls worldwide who are currently denied this basic right. Once restored to her former glory, Maiden, an iconic piece of British Maritime History, will embark on a three-year world tour to raise funds for the charity Maiden Education. Maiden Education funds projects run by charities who enable and facilitate girls'education. 

Tracy has joined forces with the daughter of HM King Hussein I. HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein is passionate about the education of girls and is generously providing support for The Maiden Factor.

bottom of page