IN THE SPOTLIGHT
She's our go-to person
Sherryn Mak's the go-to person on the Dress for Success Wellington front desk. She is a trained client dresser and started volunteering in a shared role, as Dressing Co-ordinator, in early 2013.
On her return to New Zealand in late 2012 following a six-month volunteering assignment in India, Sherryn was keen to become involved in some small way with a community-based organisation.
Her previous work experience had consisted of working in hospitality, a private enterprise, a large health oriented incorporated society, a small business and an Australian Federal Government Agency as well a period of time being self-employed.
Given Sherryn's varied work history, it seems inevitable that the unpredictable, social and client-oriented role of Dressing Co-ordinator would hold an attraction for her.
"I could well be one of the people that greets you on your arrival at our offices, whether you're dropping off clothing donations, coming in for a dressing appointment, attending one of our client initiated programmes, or speaking to you on the phone," says Sherryn.
As well as the opportunity to work in a variety of roles, Sherryn was also attracted by the work the organisation does in assisting and supporting women with their return to the workplace.
"You never know who is going to walk through the door and it's vital that nerves are put at ease. Our job at the front desk is to calm clients down, talk through the process with them and ensure their dressing enhances their overall presentation to prospective employers," says Sherryn.
She says that all clients should be helped to feel at ease and understand the process involved in dressing assessments. This should be done in a friendly, encouraging and non-judgmental manner.
"Volunteering is about how you feel as a person and wanting to share your time and effort for a worthy cause. Behind this is the ideal that all people deserve a chance in life to improve their lot," says Sherryn
For Sherryn, the rapport she has built up with clients from their initial first dressing through to subsequent dressings illustrates the progress each client has made over the time spent as a client of Dress for Success Wellington.
"We walk with clients on their journey and it’s really rewarding to receive appreciative mail from them. It’s comforting to feel our contribution is valued and that through Dress for Success Wellington, we have made a difference in someone's life."
You can make a difference too
Dress for Success relies on the support of our diverse range of volunteers to help women as they look for work and start a new job. The kinds of voluntary support we need include: