How does Rough Threads help the community?

We’ve had fantastic feedback from our patrons here at The Big Issue whenever they’ve attended the fantastic events put on by Rough Threads. Each occasion goes beyond the usual services seen at most other community events. Rough Threads has helped our patrons to improve their lives in key areas such as building their self confidence, connecting them back into the community, and boosting their health and well being.

Rough Threads adopts a refreshing approach in tackling poverty and community empowerment, and we’ve seen firsthand evidence of how they have positively impacted so many people.

- Tom Wilson, NSW & ACT Soccer Coordinator, Community Street Soccer Program

We have been proud to partner with Rough Threads in helping the street community of the inner city. The Rough Threads concept is simply brilliant; the provision of goods and services in a festival style community event. The energy, passion and joy that radiates out from a Rough Threads event is just amazing.

Those who participate feel a lift in their self worth, their sense of dignity and their connection to others in the community. And actually, that is true for the members of the street community who come along, and for the volunteers who serve them.

We are delighted to host Rough Threads events and pleased to be a supporter organisation.

- Edward Vaughan, Chairman

Rough Threads has been an absolute highlight for the Rough Edges community. It has also attracted members of the street community from far and wide. From a practical perspective, clothing and accessories aren’t easily afforded by our street community, even op shop prices are typically too expensive, so it is a luxury to be offered a range of quality, variety clothing at absolutely no cost. Not only do clothes serve a vital practical need for the homeless, but the novelty of trying on clothes and selecting outfits that capture one’s personality provides priceless moments of joy. There is something truly special about seeing a person who would never normally feel comfortable walking into a department store, proudly carrying out a huge bag full of clothing.

Bringing the community together and driving a sense of social connectedness is what makes these events so unique. We see a positive change in our patrons after they have attended, they are more confident, willing to work with agencies and empowered with a new sense of stability.

- Katherine Butterworth, Education & Volunteer Coordinator, Rough Edges Community Centre

Since 2013 the Manly Community Centre has been working with Rough Threads. We have found the team to be very professional and caring towards our clients and their client centric approach aligns with our values. Rough Threads goes out of its way to make sure each client is treated with respect and made feel welcome. Clients from the Manly Community Centre have spoken to me of how Rough Treads has supported their needs and brought a sense of inclusion back to them. They look forward to future events and have ask me to keep them informed of when and where they will be held.

- Neil McWilliam, Community Outreach Officer, Manly Community Centre

What is it like to volunteer at Rough Threads?

“I’ve volunteered at Rough Threads over the past two years and it has been a great opportunity to give a little something back to the community. I have really loved chipping in with a group of dedicated and professional volunteers and the day is a lot of fun with lots of laughs and stories to tell.

The biggest reward for me has been the look on the faces of the people coming to get the clothes. It is great to see them be able to choose anything they like and fill up their bags from a huge choice of high-quality donations. It’s so nice to play a small part in giving these people back some dignity and self-respect. I would recommend volunteering to anyone wanting to see how a grass roots project really can make a difference”

- Tony, 33

“After hearing about all the fantastic work Rough Threads does for the community, I wanted to be able to be a part of what they do and thought that helping out at one of the events would be a great way to start.

The organisation of the event was impeccable, with everyone involved sourcing clothes, shoes, toiletries and all sorts of accessories that would make such a difference for people in need. I had no understanding of how much of an impact this event would have for the people in need in the streets of Sydney.

On the day it was inspiring to see the smiles and joy of the people in this community being able to pick and choose items that would make such a difference to their lives. By providing them with a few items of clothing, warm jackets and hygiene equipment, the community was far more equipped for challenging the harsh winter on the streets.

We all had so much fun helping on the day with everything running smoothly. I honestly never thought that I could make an impact in someone’s life the way that I felt I did through Rough Threads and I can wait till I can help out again.

- Anna, 19

What does it mean to be a corporate supporter?

The Murphy Gozzard Hair Community has been involved with Rough Threads for the three years. Having the word ‘Community’ in our name means much more than just our clients and team being our community we chose to have it as part of our brand as for my partner Brett and myself it’s so important for us to give back to our wider community.

As the majority of our team are aged between 16 and 30 it is also important for us to instil a sense of community and social responsibility in our culture and what better way to do this than to use our hairdressing skills. For our team to be able to use their skills to make such a difference in how someone feels is so powerful. Through the Rough Thread events that we have participated in so far I am not exaggerating when I say it has been life changing for our team members who have been involved. To see the difference we can make not just by giving a haircut but for the people we are seeing to have someone take time to listen to their stories and also for many of them it’s been a long time since they have had someone touch them and connect in a positive way.

We have heard some truly heartbreaking stories whilst we have been cutting hair , one in particular that has really resonated with me was a gentleman who is exactly the same age as myself (50) who had a career as an insurance broker and was retrenched he had no savings and within a couple of months was homeless and sleeping on friends couches and now sleeping rough. It brought home to me how quickly circumstances can change and once they do that it can be so hard to get back on track. I have cut this man’s hair at each event so far and it truly upsets me to see his confidence and hope diminishing but I know that just spending 30 minutes or so cutting his hair and listening to him that he leaves feeling better . Seeing people get up out of the chair with a smile on their face is everything for us.

Our salon is proud to have partnered with the Rough Threads team and we are committed to help in any way we can for as long as we can.

- Brett McKinnon, Owner, Murphy Gozzard Hair Community

Storage King Woolloomooloo are pleased to be supporting Rough Threads

We received a call from Carrie, the Director of Rough Threads in November 2012 asking if we were interested in donating a storage unit to hold clothing donated by the Community for her charity which gives 2nd hand clothing to those in need including the homeless & women’s shelters.

Storage King Woolloomooloo are active in supporting the local Community & we are happy to help such a worthy charity.

- Kara Unsworth, Area Manager, Storage King Woolloomooloo