Runaway success for FICE Fashion Show

A sell-out fashion show on 12 February was the perfect event to celebrate a runaway first 12 months for Cire’s First Impressions Clothing Exchange (FICE).

An enthusiastic crowd of more than 50 women gathered for the fun at FICE’s Mooroolbark Terrace shop where they were treated to a taste of the quality fashion on offer as volunteer models gave it their all on the catwalk.

Everyone was on a high to have the opportunity to come together face-to-face to enjoy each other’s company as well as acknowledge the success of the social enterprise in helping provide women in need with positive pathways.

Local traders were also ecstatic because the event created such an exciting and most welcome vibe at The Terrace.

The event featured six volunteers modelling casual, business and formal outfits and stories of how FICE had given them a sense of purpose and confidence and helped them upskill and/or find employment.

Special guests included the multi-talented Kerrie Stanley, makeup artist for ABC Breakfast Television and award-winning milliner and who is also working on the production of Harry Potter, the Musical in Melbourne. Kerrie shared some of her make up tips with those present. Other special guests included Cr Sophie Todorov from Yarra Ranges Council, Alexandra Hale, owner and director of Johnstone and Reimer Lawyers, one of FICE’s gold-level sponsors, and Cire CEO Gus Seremetis.

FICE emerged from Women’s Warehouse, a Cire Training initiative. It is the brainchild of long-term unemployed women in the Yarra Ranges for women experiencing financial disadvantage.  FICE offers access to affordable clothing suitable for job interviews and other important occasions and equally important, the opportunity to upskill by volunteering in the shop and through mentoring and additional training and support networks and referrals.

Those at the recent first birthday fashion show learned about the growing community support and acknowledgement for FICE and its mission. Women throughout the Yarra Ranges have supported the shop from day one with donations of quality clothing. This gives other women, not normally able to access such quality items, the opportunity to purchase them at a much lower price and help boost their self-esteem.

The fashion show was made possible by a grant from Yarra Ranges Council which has also awarded funding for a mobile FICE service in more isolated communities this year. Last year FICE received a $10,000 grant from the Commonwealth Bank to assist with operating costs.

Other supporters include Good360 and Lilydale Big W and Bunnings.

Bunnings Lilydale donated lucky door prizes for the fashion show and all those who attended received a handbag donated by Big W Lilydale filled with other donated goodies.

A huge thank you to all our volunteers and models (Mary, Sarah, Karon, Maryanne, Donna and Tammi).

Like to know more, visit the FICE webpage

Team Snag – Cire’s offering to Bunnings patrons

It was a breezy and cold day in Lilydale as the sun was rising over the marquee but Team Snag arrived to service the local patrons at Bunnings Lilydale with offerings of hot sausages and fried onions in bread – with the obligatory tomato sauce and mustard. Who can resist the aroma of fried onions?

Team Snag consisted of a group of staff from all of Cire’s departments who volunteered their time to feed hungry Bunnings’ shoppers. What comradery, what cooking skills, what great conversation? Team Snag totally rocked at turning sausages and was quick to serve up delectable offerings; and of course wore their Cire aprons with panache and style!

The local community came throughout the day drawn in by that familiar smell; the invitation brought out conversation about our organisation and gave us opportunity to engage with the locals in a casual setting.  We also had a few visits from people who knew of Cire attending Bunnings and came down to support the cause.

The lunch period was full of hustle and bustle with people lined up to get a tasty offering, the staff from Bunnings also came to get their share; we even had a gentlemen pay in advance for a second sausage on his way out – what a great testimonial to Cire gastronomical skills.

The day continued to be very successful. It was very encouraging to see the people from Cire show their commitment and give up a precious day of their weekend to serve the community; only this time it was with delicious snags and drinks.

There were also the little helpers who came in support of their parents, to help liven up the kitchen and even thanking the customers for purchasing their sausage and hope they enjoyed them.  They helped to prepare the bread, hand out the orders and give the change.

“Even though it was cold, the sun was shining and the people were delighted to warm up with a delicious sausage.”  Cindy – Cire Training

“The sausages were really tasty and delicious but it was the aroma that brought us to the tent.”  Martha and Mick – customers.

We thank all who patronised the sausage tent and we enjoyed our contribution to the gastronomical experience.

The profit raised from Team Snag’s efforts will go to Cire’s services supporting the community. These services include Cire Training – which provides career pathways for all ages; Cire Children’s Services – qualified early childhood professionals caring for local children; Cire Community School – providing an alternative to mainstream secondary schooling and helping young people get back on track; and Cire In Home Care – supporting people to live independently.

Thank you Team Snag, thank you community.

See you again in November at Bunnings Lilydale to turn a mean snag…