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Sian's story

Sian joined our work experience programme to gain skills and experience in retail. She explains what she wants to achieve from her time with us.

How did you hear about us?

I heard about Dress for Success through Volunteer Wellington. I was looking for work specifically in clothing management and retail.

Can you tell us about why you came to us for assistance?

I had been looking for volunteering opportunities to gain work experience and give back to the community. Dress for Success aligned with my values of sustainability and supporting people. I wasn’t sure whether I was the right fit, but from the first day, it has been a great

experience with a lovely group of people.

What did you hope to achieve?

I wanted to try something new and put myself out there to develop both personally and professionally.

How did we help you?

I have gained a lot of confidence in serving customers from working in the shop, and an eye for detail from working in clothing management.

How did our volunteers make you feel?

It is a supportive environment with a lovely team, where I got to meet and talk to people

from all walks of life.

Did our programme meet your expectations?

Absolutely! It has been a great learning experience, and with all the donations, clients and

customers that come through you experience something new every day.

What was the outcome?

I’ve gained a lot of confidence and experience that I hope to put towards a career in retail.

What did this mean to you? What changed for you as a result?

Volunteering here got me out of the house and doing something productive, gaining

experience and contributing to the community. It has shown me that I can do many things

and get out of my comfort zone. It has really changed my perspective on clothing and how

pivotal it can be for a person’s outlook and confidence, and impacted the way I present


What next?

I would love to find a job to support my studies and continue to learn and grow at Dress for

Success and their many programmes. I also want to continue giving back to the community

and the environment in other volunteering positions.

What does success mean to you?

I’ve realised that success isn’t necessarily earning lots of money or having a big house,

success is a personal journey, whether it be your confidence in yourself or overcoming

challenges and achieving your goals. What I’ve found is that especially in going into the

workplace a lot of confidence can be found in how you present yourself through clothing.

Are you thinking of getting involved in our other programmes?

I would love to get involved in other volunteering opportunities such as mentoring or

attending Success Workshops, as well as learning how to style and advise customers on


What advice would you give to other people looking to make a change?

I think that Dress for Success is a wonderful organisation doing a lot of good for empowering people in their career journeys and giving back to the community. Whatever your interests are I’m sure that you can get something out of coming to Dress for Success, whether it be volunteering or getting involved in other programmes and events, you’ll know that you are giving back to a good cause.

Photography donated JM Beltran @jmsubs

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