Volunteering at Cire’s First Impressions Clothing Exchange at Yarra Junction has proven to be a perfect fit for Trisha Rowe.
It has given her an unexpected and most welcome new “lease of life” – so much so that she is keen to share her experience and encourage others to consider using their spare time to contribute to their community.
People like Trisha make it possible for Cire Services to reach out to those who need assistance throughout the Yarra Ranges and beyond. They contribute thousands of volunteer hours each year to support Cire programs and services, particularly FICE at Yarra Junction and Mooroolbark and Cire Community Hubs at Yarra Junction and Chirnside Park.
In the following interview, Trisha from Yarra Junction shares her FICE journey to date.
How did you first become involved with Cire and (FICE) First Impressions clothing exchange?
After retiring, I gradually lost motivation; I knew it would be too late if I didn’t do something soon. I needed to do something for myself; my general health and mental health were starting to suffer. I saw the volunteer board out the front of Cire, so I popped into the hub and was greeted by the bubbly and very friendly Nicole; she told me all about FICE. I also wanted to brush up on my knowledge of computers and technology. I later met Renee, and before long, I was on my way.
What makes this program special?
When I first walked in the door, Nicole, the Yarra Junction Community Hub customer service officer, told me about Cire and FICE. I was hesitant and thought I would come back later, but thought – no, I’m going to do this! Everybody I have met through the hub and FICE has given me something, just talking to people, interacting and laughing; when I walk out of FICE and the hub, I feel really good.
How has the program supported you with your personal goals?
I have some health issues, and some days I struggle to get out of bed and the house, but volunteering at FICE, attending tech hub classes and now becoming a part of the craft group, I now have a purpose. This has allowed me to challenge and push myself within my own personal boundaries and feel supported and encouraged along the way.
How important was this additional support in your success?
Everyone at FICE and Yarra Junction Community Hub has been so supportive. Nicole is just this bubbly warm person who genuinely cares. Raymond is gorgeous, and Cohen in Tech Hub is so helpful too. The hugs you get if you’re not feeling the best, well, they are the best. The team at Cire really listen and value your opinion. I’m taken for who and what I am.
Any last words on the FICE program?
Just do it; you’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve gained more myself personally from coming here weekly. The ladies that come here to shop, we talk and laugh. It’s the best thing as everyone is so lovely and friendly. FICE and Cire fill the void that was there.
Click here to learn more about volunteering at FICE.