Winners’ pop up boutique gives mums a style boost

A free pop-up boutique designed to help mums in the West Country get back into work has been set up by a team of National Lottery winners.

The boutique is the brainchild of Zoe Hoare (pictured third from left in main image), who, after winning £1Million on EuroMillions, has set up a successful ladies boutique with her husband Nick.

When Zoe heard about The Women’s Work Lab 9-month programme – an initiative which helps mums rebuild their confidence and get back to work – she decided to use her styling expertise to help out. Supported by other National Lottery winners from the South West, she has created a capsule wardrobe for each of the job-hunting mums.

Zoe said, “Every one of the ladies we have worked with today is celebrating their last day in the classroom with Taunton Women’s Work Lab, before exploring work experience opportunities and for some, attending job interviews.

“We know a new top or some super stylish trousers won’t guarantee a job, but we really hope that each of the graduating mums will be able to feel that bit more proud of their achievement and a little more confident when they do step through the door of a possible employer.”

Zoe was joined by Danielle Heavens, who with her husband Jamie, won £1Million on a National Lottery Scratchcard in 2016. Also taking part was Taryn Hawkes, who with husband Grant, celebrated a £1Million Lotto win in 2018.

Taryn said, “I can relate to so many of the stories we have heard today and am humbled by the sacrifices many of the mums have made to make sure they complete the Women’s Work Lab programme.

“Before our incredible spot of National Lottery luck, we were in a very difficult position financially and times were very tough. My secret weapon to feel confident was always my shoes – if I had snazzy shoes, I felt braver. So hopefully some of the amazing outfits we have created today will help these inspirational mums feel that same level of extra confidence.”

The Women’s Work Lab is a social enterprise and its programmes combine bespoke classroom training with a work placement, 1-to-1 career coaching and mentoring. Unlike other training, the programme is uniquely designed specifically for mums so they can find work that really works for them and their families.

The boutique created by the National Lottery winners has rails of stylish clothes and accessories (all generously donated by Zoe) and a changing room.

Camilla Rigby, Co-Founder and Joint CEO of the Women’s Work Lab, was amazed at the millionaire volunteers’ commitment and the impact of their endeavours. She said, “We exist to help our mums to become the best versions of themselves, whatever that looks like. We know that ambition is unique to an individual, just like their choice of wardrobe.

“Today, our mums were able to embrace their ambition, forget the pressures of parenting and the challenges ahead, and instead enjoy a moment of carefree shopping without spending a penny. The smiles on their faces and the extra spring in their step as they walked away, will stay with me for a very long time.”

Women’s Work Lab was established in 2019 and has supported more than 300 mums across the South West back into work. Participants may have faced multiple barriers to employment including lone parenting, surviving domestic abuse, children with special educational needs and their own health conditions. Two thirds of its alumni are now working and Women’s Work Lab delivers training in Taunton, Bridgwater, Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

The co-founders were recently awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award, recognising their contribution to supporting women back into work.

22nd March 2024

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,000 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £4 million for Good Causes every dayΔ.

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