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Orange Sky Australia and Greater Charitable Foundation load up a $330,000 partnership

Orange Sky Launch (2).jpg

A $330,000 partnership between Orange Sky Australia and the Greater Charitable Foundation will help fund the Orange Sky Gold Coast and Taree services, which provide both fixed and mobile free laundry and shower services for people experiencing homelessness and hardship. 

In Southport on the Gold Coast and in Taree Orange Sky operates laundry pods, a fixed structure fit with two washing machines and two dryers, offering the same trusted service of free laundry and a non-judgemental environment cultivated by a team of passionate volunteers. 

As well as improving access to essential hygiene services and restoring dignity for people doing it tough, Orange Sky also tackles social isolation by providing a safe, positive and supportive environment for those who feel disconnected from their community to connect and chat with the volunteers. 

Since launching the Gold Coast services in 2016, Orange Sky has facilitated over 27,483 loads of washing, 3,061 showers and 34,939 hours of genuine, non-judgemental conversation and connection supported by 137 volunteers. 

Since launching the Taree pod in late 2017, Orange Sky has facilitated over 1,327 loads of laundry and 2,005 hours of genuine, non-judgemental conversation and connection supported by eight volunteers.

The $330,000 investment from the Greater Charitable Foundation will keep the Gold Coast and Taree services operating for another two years, with the funds supporting everything from laundry supplies to equipment maintenance and volunteer training.

Co-Founder and CEO Lucas Patchett said that Orange Sky's social impact extends far beyond a clean set of clothes.

“We can value our service in its material and operational costs, but what you can’t put a price on is someone’s well-being,” Mr Patchett said.

“We know a fresh set of clothes and a hot, safe shower can make you feel so much better, however if one of our friends leaves an Orange Sky shift with a smile on their face and feeling a little bit more connected, then that’s how we know we’ve truly done our job. 

"We know Aussies are doing it really tough right now. With the rise in cost of living and the rental crisis, Orange Sky has never been busier, so it has never been a more important time for our services and team of incredible volunteers to be out in the community supporting the growing number of people who need support."

"We're incredibly grateful for the support received from the Greater Charitable Foundation in helping us to positively connect communities. With their help, we can continue to provide our essential services and connection, reaching the people who need us the most.”

Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer Anne Long said that with the cost-of-living crisis services like Orange Sky’s would likely become even more needed.

“So many of us don’t think twice about throwing on a load of washing, but when you need access to a machine, electricity, water and detergent this is actually a luxury for some,” Ms Long said.

“By also focusing on health hardware and improving the wellbeing of individuals and families, Orange Sky is also able to use its partnerships to connect those doing it tough with a range of support services.

“Providing people who are doing it tough with access to laundry services is a wonderful thing and providing them with new social connections and improved mental health is even better, so we’re thrilled to partner with Orange Sky Australia to help this simple and effective service assist even more people.”

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