Nick Brown, Employment Advisor at Remploy:
‘May I also take this opportunity to thank Suited & Booted again, you are the only charity that is consistent and you are there all year, as opposed to some ‘pop ups’ which, inevitably, are around at the wrong time. Lives have been changed by the confidence my clients have gained after seeing themselves in decent clothes.’
Rosemary Gordon, a Resettlement Officer at HMP Standford Hill (who has worked for HMPS for 17 years in 4 different prisons) has said that:
‘Most of our prisoners come from London and attend [Suited & Booted] on their home leaves. Wearing that apparel they have been to interviews, parole hearings and even to collect the High Sheriff’s award as well as job interviews and training courses. Smart clothing has allowed us to send prisoners into all sorts of situations that would not be possible without; and for them to go on a more equal footing.
More than that I can honestly say that they have been moved by the occasion, wearing a suit they can see themselves as “someone else”, someone who wears a suit and leads a respectable life.
Whilst attending their premises with 4 of my prisoners I was moved to tears by the reaction of the younger prisoners in particular… Suddenly I was in a real life makeover programme.
It is not just the suit but the KIND attention given by Maria and the team to make them feel special. They go expecting to be handed just any old suit but relish the time spent on them to make sure they are really “Suited”. Several of them have said that of all the things that have happened to them whilst in prison this has done them the most good, better than counsellors or offending behaviour courses. One of my Peer Support Workers tells me he runs the day he spent with them through his head to help him stay cheerful and get through his sentence.’