Care Community stories

Purposeful partnerships through care communities

25th May 2020 | 5 mins
Cindy receiving her clothes

Community partnerships are invaluable to us at Opal. We believe that we can only provide the best possible care when we do so in partnership with others. We choose to work with partners who share our values and purpose and support us in enhancing the health and wellbeing of our residents.

Many of our partnerships help us enable residents to live with meaning and purpose, both of which are vital to whole-of-person wellbeing.

One thing that many of us take for granted is buying a few new clothes as the season's change, but for residents who don’t have family or friends around to help them refresh their wardrobe, this is a simple pleasure that they’re unable to enjoy. A number of residents rely on the goodwill of team members or charities to provide clothing, perhaps second hand, and other donated items.

We are delighted to have partnered with Thread Together, a registered charity that not only provides very special social support for our residents but is also making a positive impact on the environment through its unique service model. Their CEO, Anthony Chesler says "not only are we providing new clothes, but we are also enabling the residents to select the clothes that suit their own style and preference, whether this is ‘in-store’ at our fashion hubs or when using our online wardrobe.

Providing choice is very important as it restores dignity, creates hope, and builds confidence and self-esteem, all relevant irrespective of circumstance and age.”

Such is the pace of the ‘fast-fashion’ cycle these days, many millions of items of brand new clothing that is manufactured doesn’t even make it to the shop floor before it is considered redundant by retailers and is relegated to landfill. Thread Together has extensive partnerships within the fashion industry where manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers supply them with excess clothing. They, in turn, redistribute the new stock to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access new clothing.

Through this partnership our residents have access to brand new, responsibly sourced clothing that is tailored to their needs. Using Thread Together’s online portal, residents can choose which clothing items they would like and when it arrives by post they’re able to experience the joy and excitement of unpacking and wearing their new clothes. As well as the thrill of owning something brand new that is in their own personal style, we have found that our residents have enjoyed learning a new skill in using technology and participating in online shopping, something many never thought they would experience.

To date, Thread Together has filled orders for residents across eight of our care homes. Cindy at Annandale Grove is just one of our residents who is enjoying the shopping experience. She was thrilled with the items she chose and was overjoyed to receive her new clothes. Cindy assists our team with the unpacking and sorting of clothing items for fellow residents and is loving wearing her new outfits.

Thread Together plans to have pop-up shops in our care homes which our residents are very much looking forward to; in fact, Broadwater Grove's shop is already underway. They officially open shop today, however, some residents have already enjoyed a sneak peek and they were very impressed! Each resident will receive complimentary "With love, your Opal team" vouchers that they can redeem for clothing items and Leamington's friendly team will be there to assist residents while they shop to their heart's content.

Stories from across our Care Communities