Clothing is a basic human right. Sadly, in Australia, more than 3.5 million people do not have access to essential clothing. This equates to one in eight adults and one in six children. We spoke to Sasha Brown, Projects and Communications Lead at Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) about the positive impact Thread Together has had on the women and families seeking refuge at the centre.
Q1. Can you tell us about what charity or venue you work with?
We are Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre or WAGEC and we work on the lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We are based in Redfern and operate 3 crisis accommodation sites and over 40 transitional accommodation sites for women and families across the inner-city and inner-west of Sydney. As well as supporting over 200 women and children every night, we also provide programs that build financial independence, nurture healing and wellbeing, enrich children’s development and prevent violence from happening in the first place. We support women and families to create safer futures and work with the community to end gender-based violence in a generation.
Q2. How did you first hear about Thread Together?
We first heard about Thread Together nearly two years ago through another community organisation who linked us up knowing how beneficial it would be for the women and families we support.
Q3. Can you tell us about receiving the clothing and how the recipients react once they receive the clothing that they chose?
These were some of the comments from the women made about Thread Together’s recent visit to the refuge.
"I’m so glad I came today. It was lovely sitting out in the sun with all the other mums, talking and laughing. And I went home with some clothes for me and my boy. Today is a good day."
"Oh my gosh, today is the best day. My boy asks for these shoes at the shops but they cost so much money, I have to say no all the time. He looks sad. Then this bus and the lovely ladies come and on the table are the same shoes, and in perfect size for my boy. I am over the moon and so very very happy. I cannot wait to surprise him when he comes home from school today. This will be the best day ever for him. I cannot wait to see his face. I got some lovely clothes for my children and myself, but these shoes for him, WOW!”
Q4. What has been the most rewarding moment at Thread Together?
The most rewarding moments have been seeing the excitement, confidence, and sense of renewed dignity among the women and families who receive the clothing from Thread Together. One woman, and mum of a 3-year-old, made the comment: “Oh I feel sexy. Just sexy for me, not for anyone else. It’s very nice to have some lovely clothes that make me feel happy.” Whether a woman is getting ready for a job, fitting out her children for the school year or building confidence after having a baby, it is these little moments that are worth celebrating.
The AFC are proud to partner with Thread Together to reduce landfill and give excess clothing a new life with people less fortunate. Visit our Thread Together Program page here to donate clothing or volunteer at Thread Together.