By Gayle Phillip, Melbourne Dressing Room Volunteer

I have been volunteering for the personal fitting service in the Dressing Room for the last eight years.

As a trained volunteer, I provide work-appropriate clothing for each client, whether it is for an interview or for on the job training.  Each client is assisted by two volunteers with a maximum of two clients in the Dressing Room at the same time.  Our aim is to improve the confidence and self-esteem of the women who visit us through a holistic approach.  Importantly, the one-hour fitting is fun, positive and conducted in a warm and safe environment by a group of caring volunteers.

In the eight years that I have been volunteering,I have met the most wonderful women from diverse backgrounds.  The outfitting service is the first step these women are undertaking for job readiness and financial security/independence.  Many are hesitant and lacking in confidence when we first meet.  However, it’s inspiring to see that within the hourly fitting, women can feel empowered, gain confidence and self-esteem as they are fussed over by understanding volunteers.  It’s the smiles and appreciative hugs that are given by these women when they are leaving with their interview clothing, that gives me the most satisfaction as I feel honoured to be part of their journey.