SWP EEC – Day 6 – SI Wellington’s Dress for Success and SI Kapiti Coast

Categories: our work

In the morning, Bernice took me to see one of SI Wellington’s projects, which is the Wellington chapter of “Dress for Success”. Dress for Success Wellington is a project initiated by SI Wellington member, Kristeen Johnston, and helps women to look good for job interviews by providing interview-appropriate clothing, accessories and advice to boost their confidence and increase their chances of getting work.

To qualify, women must have low/no income and be going to a job interview or in a work experience or work based training programme. They must be referred by an agency such as Work and Income, Citizens Advice Bureau, training providers or community groups, which will complete a referral form prior to an appointment with DFS.

There are 7 affiliates in New Zealand, and Kristeen and Bernice are actively involved with this programme in Wellington. Bernice does styling for the women who come to Dress for Success, and showed me how she advises the women to sit on a chair when they attend interviews. SI Wellington and other clubs support by providing clothes, handbags and accessories for these women – who sometimes just need a helping hand to success.

Dress For Success

(From left) Kristeen Johnston, myself and Bernice Croft.


These are some of the makeovers by DFS.


The clothes and shoe racks. All donated clothes are selected for suitability and cleaned. There are even designer items! Clothes which have been donated but are not suitable for the programme are sold to raise funds for this non-profit.

After a lovely lunch with Kristeen and Bernice, I was picked up by Jane Stent from SI Kapiti Coast. First, since the weather was good, she took me to Otari-Wilton Bush, a native botanic garden and forest reserve for a lovely walk and taste of New Zealand flora and fauna. Then we took a leisurely drive to Kapiti Coast, where Jane showed me some of their projects. Jane was my wonderful host for the evening.


Signboard at the entrance of Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

 otari1 otari2

The beautiful forest at Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

Jane brought me to see a few SI Kapiti Coast projects:

First, we visited the Kapiti Youth Centre (KYC), which SI Kapiti Coast has contributed towards. KYC encourages youth to youth assistance via peer support workers, which is great.


The Kapiti Youth Centre


The photos of the young volunteers and staff.

Jane also showed me the local swimming pool which SI Kapiti Coast contributed to building.

Swimming pool

Next, we visited SI Kapiti Coast’s Estuary Planting Project.


This is the estuary of Kapiti, where SI Kapiti Coast ladies have taken part in planting as part of their environmental programme.


The bamboos designate where the seedlings were planted.

In the evening, there was a dinner at Jane Stent’s, with the SI Kapiti Coast ladies, when I presented the SI Petaling Jaya pennant to SI Kapiti Coast’s president, Judith Le Harivel. I also shared SIPJ’s presentation with them and invited them to come to our Conference of Clubs in Kuching.


 Presenting the SIPJ pennant to President Judith Le Harivel
and the SI Kapiti Coast ladies.

Author: Kavidha Natarajan

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