This year, the program supported its 13,000th individual, as it continues to take excess stock from Australian fashion stores and use ‘mobile wardrobe’ vans to deliver the clothes to communities around South Australia.
The program has a positive impact on many people’s lives, including those experiencing or at risk of homelessness; Aboriginal communities; refugees; survivors of domestic violence; and the long-term unemployed.
AnglicareSA Executive General Manager Community Services, Nancy Penna, said the simple initiative has had a profound impact on people’s ability to turn their lives around.
“We all know how much clothing helps to define who we are and how we feel,” she said.
“For those who are experiencing hardship and social exclusion, access to new clothing plays an even bigger role in enabling dignity, choice and self-esteem.
AnglicareSA first partnered with NSW-based charity Thread Together in 2018, launching Australia’s first mobile wardrobe service.
In 2019, the service was extended with the opening of a clothing hub in North Adelaide. People can access the clothing hub through referrals from hospitals and social service providers.
With Anglicare’s 2020 Jobs Availability Snapshot finding that more than 10 people are competing for each entry-level job in South Australia, supporting young people who are unemployed and struggling to find work is a key priority of the partnership.
“It’s one thing to get a job interview, but when you don’t have a lot of money, it’s another challenge to feel confident in your personal presentation and have an ongoing wardrobe of appropriate workplace attire,” Ms Penna said.
“Thanks to our partnership with Thread Together, we have access to new clothing from more than 40 fashion retailers across Australia.
“Our volunteers then do a fantastic job of curating outfits for young people transitioning into work for the first time.”
Young Adelaide jobseeker Edward (19), who has been struggling to find employment, received a new collection of clothes through the Thread Together program this month.
A new blazer and work attire has boosted his self-esteem, providing him with an extra edge as he looks to kickstart his career.
“I come from a pretty humble background – so it feels great to have the support,” he said.
During 2020, the program provided clothes to nearly 3,000 South Australians, including:
- people affected by the Kangaroo Island bushfires
- people impacted by the Adelaide Hills bushfires
- packages delivered to people during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Devastating bushfires and a global pandemic have created vulnerability in individuals and families, who had never previously needed support,” Ms Penna said.
“We’ve been helping families who’ve lost almost everything to replenish their wardrobes so they can get back to normality as soon as possible. We took online and phone orders, delivering tailored clothing packages across Adelaide to those doing it tough during the pandemic.
“Our partnership with Thread Together is just one example of our commitment to support the South Australian community — today, tomorrow and into the future.”
Thanks to support from the CMV Foundation, CMI Toyota has supplied one of two mobile wardrobe vans since the program launched in 2018. AnglicareSA is proud to announce that CMI Toyota have pledged to support the Thread Together program for another three-year term.
“AnglicareSA’s Thread Together program is a volunteer-run service and relies on the generosity of the South Australian community,” Ms Penna said.
“We’re calling for monetary donations to help keep our vans fuelled and the program running.”