QUT students fashion forward for charity

Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) double degree Fine Arts (Fashion) and Bachelor of Business students have donated 100 pairs of hand-sewn underwear to local charity, Brisbane Youth Service.

The corporate social responsibility event, ‘Sewing Support’ saw a 12 hour production run by QUT’s fashion and business students from 8am until 8pm of cutting, sewing and packaging underwear for homeless young people on the veranda of Old Government House at QUT’s Gardens Point campus.

The event was an extension of this year’s fourth annual pop-up boutique, The Fleet Store which is created and managed by fashion and business students of QUT.

The team was just shy of their goal of 150 undies, packaging 100 by 8pm.

Marketing Manager of The Fleet Store, Kimberley Hegedus is proud of effort and dedication of the students throughout the production run and is happy with the outcome of the event..

“Any undies that we create and donate is great. Even though we didn’t reach our target today, it’s still great to help out (Brisbane Youth Service),” Hegedus said.

Hegedus said real world business are increasingly incorporating corporate responsibility events into their business models and saw potential in this years The Fleet Store to help “those less fortunate” by conducting a corporate responsibility event of their own.

Fleet Store Instagram followers showed their support throughout the day.

Fleet Store followers also showed their support  via the pop-up’s Instagram platform

Brisbane Youth Service volunteer, Hollie Cassidy said she has seen “a good response” from passersby at Gardens Point donating to the charity.

Cassidy said the event is “interesting and quirky’ and attracting the attention of passersby which helps to raise “awareness for organisations like BYS and the issues young people face”.

Brisbane Youth Service chief executive, Annemaree Callander sees the donation of clean underwear as very beneficial for Brisbane’s homeless youth as the opportunity “to have new, clean clothes and improved hygiene can reduce health issues faced by homeless young people”.

Callander said the Sewing Support event “is a great way for the student’s way to make a positive difference in the lives of young people.”

Increasing youth homelessness is a community issue

Callander outlines youth homelessness is an issue that should concern the entire community not just youth organisations.

“Youth homelessness is a problem in our community and is something all of us should take some responsibility for,” Callander said.

Last financial year, Brisbane Youth Service saw over 1200 individual young people seek their support and Callander said that numbers are “certainly not dropping”.

Callander emphasizes the community needs to understand there are a range of structural issues contributing to the increase in youth homelessness in Brisbane and around Australia.

“It’s (youth homelessness) isn’t just that young people have made a series of bad decisions, it’s not just an individual problem. It’s often caused by structural issues in our society,” Callander said.

Last financial year, Brisbane Youth Service saw over 1200 individual young people seek their support

Callander outlined current levels of income for young people and housing affordability as significant structural factors contributing to youth homelessness.

“For many young people their incomes are lower than anyone else in the community, so it makes accessing any kind of housing in the private rental market almost impossible,” Callander said.

 

47% of clients who accessed the support of Brisbane Youth Service last financial year were aged between 16-21. This represents nearly half of the entire clientele assisted by the organisation.

47% of clients who accessed the support of Brisbane Youth Service last financial year were aged between 16-21. This represents nearly half of the entire clientele assisted by the organisation last financial year.

Not just about housing: Support networks are ‘critical’

Callander advocates “being homeless isn’t just about a lack of housing”, siting strong support networks for young people are “critical” in helping homeless youth.

“Young people need safe and affordable housing but also support to transition into adulthood just like other young people who are still living with their families,” Callander said

Working with young people on a daily basis, Cassidy said its important to nurture healthy mindsets in young people in order to mature into “functional adults”.

Callander hopes today’s ‘Sewing Support’ event at QUT will encourage others in the community to support the homeless youth of Brisbane.

“I really hope other members of the community consider making a contribution to help provide the support and housing these young people need,” Callander said

 

To donate to the Brisbane Youth Service, please follow the link

 

 

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