Our Birmingham centre is powered by a passionate team of staff and volunteers who coordinate and deliver our service across the West Midlands. We are also incredibly grateful to our Board of Trustees, chaired by Philippa Pickavance, who are responsible for the oversight of our day to day operations and fundraising.
Meet some of the Birmingham staff and volunteer team
“I have met so many inspiring women who have made such a positive impact on my life. The time styling the clients is very special. The sessions are a bonding of womanhood.”
“Its such a great feeling seeing a client stand a little taller, smile on face and saying I’ve got this!”
“To say I just love to help others doesn’t seem enough but it is that simple and to be able to use my skills to give other women the tools to succeed in their own lives is a privilege.”
“I love the fact that the support we offer to the client has an impact not just on her but quite often, her family.”
“I love it when you see the confidence our clients gain when they realise how great they look and how better prepared they are for their interviews.
I am currently on Maternity leave but looking forward to returning”
Meet the trustee team behind Smart Works Birmingham
Philippa Pickavance became Chairwoman and a Trustee of Smart Works Birmingham in July 2018. She has run her own Commercial property agency firm, Philippa Pickavance Real Estate as a sole trader for the last 5 years and specialises in acquiring, letting and selling office buildings. Her aim is to use her business contacts to secure funds for Smart Works Birmingham so that the employees and volunteers can concentrate on providing a first class service for our clients.
Jilly founded Barques, a design, marketing and PR agency, back in 1989. With over 30 years experience in the industry she is well known in the city. She is Chairman of the charity Property for Kids, and organises a number of fundraising events throughout the year for other charities. She is an Ambassador for the RBSA, a Director of the Jewellery Quarter Association, sits on the board of Openland and has now become a Trustee for Smart Works Birmingham.
Julia is an award-winning West Midlands businesswoman, who has a long and successful track record in empowering women to help them reach their potential. She has more than 25 years’ experience in delivering training for both individuals and companies and is invited to speak regularly at international events. She will work with the volunteer trainers and staff to ensure they maintain their skill levels in advising the women who use the service as they prepare for job interviews.
Victoria is a partner at law firm Hamlins where she specialises in commercial property work, advising landlords, tenants, investors and developers; her first job as a new Trustee was to help Philippa on the legal aspects of the relocation of Smart Works. As an active member of the Birmingham business community where she has worked for over 20 years, Victoria will be bringing her legal skills to the role of Company Secretary.
Sue is the Smart Works Birmingham Treasurer Trustee, which means she has oversight of our financial plans and how we deliver them each year.
Sue is a chartered accountant by background, and has had a long career in the NHS , firstly as an FD, and then latterly as a CEO of a regional ambulance service. She now works as a qualified career coach and personality profiler, empowering people to find resolve issues and find fulfilment in their work. She also sits as a board member of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS trust, where she chairs the Finance Committee. Sue brings all of her skills and experience in the public and charity sectors to her role as Smart Works Birmingham Treasurer and Trustee.
Bernie joined Smart Works Birmingham as the Retail Trustee in December 2021.
Bernie has worked within the retail sector for over 10 years, currently working as a clothing buyer within the industry.
She is passionate about empowering women to feel confident and comfortable in their own style, as well as an advocate for equal opportunities for women from all backgrounds.
Bernie also has an interest in sustainable fashion and how pre-loved clothes can help support new opportunities for our clients.
She will be focusing on organising our upcoming fashion sales and events to help drive revenue for our charity whilst raising awareness of Smart Works.
Alison became a Trustee of Smart Works Birmingham at the end of December 2021. She brings a lifetime of experience having recently retired as a Director/Owner of ADP Architecture Ltd after 33 years as a Chartered Architect. She has a keen interest in education particularly for girls and is VC of the Governing Body for King Edwards VI Handsworth School for Girls and a Trustee on the Board of the King Edwards Academy Trust in Birmingham. Alison is a Trustee of Marudyan UK a small charity that provides basic education for BPL (below poverty line) children in India.
Alison is also a Director/Owner of the newly established craft brewery, Moonwake Beer Co in Edinburgh