Thread Together – Clothing Communities | Marathon Health
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Mental health Posted: 14 November 2022

Thread Together – clothing communities

When we picture a year 12 formal we imagine corsages, shiny shoes, and long, sparkling dresses. It’s an event that marks an end of an era and the start of a new one – but for some it might mean not having access, or the financial capacity to purchase a new suit.

Clothing is a basic human right. Sadly, in Australia, more than 3.5 million people don’t have access to essential clothing. Founded in 2012, Thread Together is a registered charity who collects brand new, unsold clothing from brands all around Australia and gives it to those in need, at no extra cost.

We sat down with Carissa Perkins, Commonwealth Psychosocial Support (CPS) Recovery Coach and spoke about the importance of not only supporting her participants, but their families, to access the resources they need.

“Our team uses this service a lot because many of our participants and their families don’t have the financial means to buy new clothes. Although we might only be assigned to one participant, we also help their families and provide support to those around them,” Carissa said.

One of Carissa’s former participants who experiences PTSD and severe social anxiety, mentioned to Carissa that her son was completing his HSC and had early acceptance to the University of Melbourne. Together, they celebrated his achievement and Carissa was immediately on Thread Together’s website, in search for a brand-new suit to mark the special occasion.

“When you request clothing from Thread Together you can’t choose what you’ll be sent so sometimes if it isn’t suitable, you can pass it on or donate it to someone in need.

“The first pair of pants were too short, so the son was able to pass it onto his friend who was also attending the formal. Finally, a suit arrived that was the perfect fit,” Carissa said.

Carissa has been working with this participant for three years and has seen her grow, reach her goals and has had the privilege to get to know her family. Last week, Carissa said goodbye to her participant after she achieved her goal of receiving NDIS funding, which means she will be moving to a new program.

The day that Carissa said goodbye to her participant there were tears, gifts and cards shared. In the card, Carissa’s participant wrote, ‘Thank you for all you have done for me, with your help I have managed to get therapy, diagnosed and received long lasting help that will forever change the lives of both me and my boys.’

“She needed someone to believe in her and show her that she could reach her full potential. I have grown to know her and her family so it will be sad to see her move to a new program.

But it also means that I have done my job and she is ready for the next step, I am so proud of her and her two sons,” Carissa said.

As the CPS program footprint continues to grow, it is recovery coaches like Carissa and organisations like Thread Together that work in harmony to support vulnerable communities in regional NSW.

Page last updated: 17 November 2023

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