Bridges offers support to those needing to get back to work!

ORGANISATIONS which can help people who need new clothes for a job interview or to start work will be running a pop-up event at Sunderland’s the Bridges next week (6 October).

And there will even be the opportunity to get a haircut for free, as part of a scheme to help boost confidence and support people into work.

All next week the centre is running Bridges Means Business, as part of the city’s first business festival.

And on Wednesday teams from Smartworks and Suitability will be running a pop-up shop at the former Disney store unit, showcasing how they can help provide new clothes to those wanting to get a job.

Smartworks supports women who need confidence building along with providing practical items, while Suitability provides new clothes for men.

At the same time barbering students from Sunderland College will also be on hand to give free haircuts, along with vouchers for both men and women jobseekers to attend their salon.

Anyone interested in finding out more can pop into the unit between 10am and 2pm and chat to both teams, along with being able to try on clothes.

The event is only one of a packed programme taking place next week, which includes the opportunity to meet with bank and tax experts on Monday to get advice on setting up a business, plus a Dragons’ Den style session on Tuesday where people can pitch their business ideas.

The hope is that it will also encourage people to showcase their entrepreneurship and look at taking their business to next step, including moving into a unit at the Bridges.

The week will end with the opportunity for any budding performer to be signed to a major entertainment agency, with a Bridges’ Got Talent session run by ISG.

ISG, based at the BIC, has a number of jobs available for would-be entertainers and will be auditioning dancers and singers on Friday 8 October, with a view to signing up some would-be stars.

Throughout the week visitors to the centre can also pop into the unit and see a variety of job vacancies that are available in the city.

Karen Eve, centre manager at the Bridges, said she hopes people would take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

“We have some brilliant experts from a wide variety of areas coming in during the week and we really hope that shoppers will take the time to talk to them and make the most of their advice and support,” she said.

Anyone wanting to audition for the talent event or pitch an idea to the business panel is asked to email