- Outside his day job as Hall Chadwick’s director, Administration & International Business, Peter Pryn FCA assists charity Ready Set in Melbourne.
- Ready Set, formerly known as Wear For Success, provides clothing, coaching and connections to the long-term unemployed.
- The charity expects to see a big growth in the next 12 months.
As told to Stephen Corby
I still remember my Form Five accounting teacher, Mrs Pollock, and for some reason or other that subject gelled. So I went on to Swinburne University – mostly because it was on my train line at the time – and did accounting.
Ready Set (formerly Wear For Success) started about 10 years ago. It looks after the long-term unemployed, because once you’ve been out of a job for a while you start to lose confidence, and often lose social skills.
Ready Set gives those people confidence to go for the interview. We provide them with appropriate clothing and coaching, and we probably look after 1500 to 2000 people a year. I’m not saying we get them all a job, but we certainly give them the confidence and there are a lot of great success stories to come out of it.
When you get feedback from people who’ve been unemployed for many years and, all of a sudden, they’re being accepted for interviews… the confidence boost you can see from that is incredible.
COVID hit just after we’d extended our lease and expanded our floor space, which has been tough. For 12 months we couldn’t do any fundraising activities. Our main source of income, other than donations, was from large clothing sales, which also couldn’t happen. So we’ve basically had to rebuild to become an online service. It’s been a real struggle. Aside from JobKeeper and related grants, we get no government funding, which is a crying shame.
I’ve been in committees and sporting clubs and community service groups all my life, but with Ready Set you’ve got about 70 to 80 really dedicated volunteers who give up their time. Without them, we’d have nothing. It’s truly amazing.
Picture: Peter Pryn FCA. Image credit: Julian Kingma.
“...with Ready Set you’ve got about 70 to 80 really dedicated volunteers who give up their time, and without them we'd have nothing. It’s truly amazing.”
It’s important to have an outlet other than your work, and seeing the testimonials from the people who we’ve helped and made happy is incredibly rewarding.
We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of growth over the next 12 months, so I’m head down, bum up doing the budgeting and forecasting for that. It’s a bit of an artform, and I’m not quite sure how I do it, but it seems to always be fairly accurate.”