Less fortunate community members will soon have access to a free laundry service as Orange Sky launches its original invention the Laundry Pod in Bundaberg.
Orange Sky, a not-for-profit organisation supporting people in need with free laundry facilities and a safe space for genuine connection, today announced it was launching a service in Bundaberg – which will mark the organisations’ 38th service across Australia.
Usually delivering its services via iconic bright orange mobile vans the Bundaberg community will welcome a different laundry asset type in an original invention by the Orange Sky team, the Laundry Pod.
The laundry pod is a standalone structure fit with two washing machines and two dryers, with shifts operated by a team of local volunteers, carrying out the same trusted and free service which can be accessed by anyone in need.
With a vision of supporting communities in need quickly, and operating in less-populated regions more efficiently, Orange Sky’s Laundry Pod was created.
Orange Sky regional coordinator Megan Collins said Bundaberg was the perfect fit for the Laundry Pod service model.
“We have a core value of ‘giving things a crack' to create ways to drive impact and support communities that need a hand as quickly as possible,” Mrs Collins said.
“Supporting the local Bundaberg community has been on our radar for a while, with the Laundry Pod concept presenting the perfect service fit based on the needs of the community.”
The Orange Sky laundry pod will be operated out of the Angel’s Mini Mart, a social enterprise run by Angels Community Group, a space that brings together community groups and service providers, offering a unique opportunity to work collaboratively and impact the Bundaberg community, enabling access to multiple resources and services in one place.
Angels Community Group welcomes Laundry Pod
Angels Community Group Operations Manager Jasmine Tasker welcomed the new service.
“With the increase in homelessness in Bundaberg over the past 12 months, the demands on all services have increased tremendously,” she said.
“Saying that we are so excited to have an amazing charity such as Orange Sky join with us to increase the amount of services assisting our community.
“We believe many of our community members will benefit from pulling up an orange seat, and will get a lot more out of it than just doing their laundry.
“We know the pressure put on our one washing machine and dryer in Angels Support Centre and welcome the helping hand Orange Sky will give us as well.”
The Orange Sky service in Bundaberg is set to officially launch by the end of October.
When it opens, members of the Bundaberg community doing it tough or in need of support will be able to head down to the Angels Mini Mart every Monday from 4 pm – 6 pm, Tuesday from 8 am – 10 am and Thursday from 3 pm – 5 pm to have a yarn with the Orange Sky Volunteers while they have their washing done at no cost.
Orange Sky are also encouraging locals who wish to volunteer to support those in their community who are doing it tough to click here to sign up.
Orange Sky said according to data from the 2021 Census homelessness in Bundaberg had increased by 17.9% since 2016 (ABS, 2021).
The increase in homelessness has resulted in heightened demand on support services in the region, being one of the key reasons Orange Sky has set their sights on Bundaberg, aiming to help support the growing number of locals experiencing hardship.
With service expansion plans always at the forefront of Orange Sky’s mission to help more communities in need, Orange Sky Co-Founder and CEO Lucas Patchett said the organisation was really proud and excited to be able to support the Bundaberg community.
“With the rise in cost of living and the current housing crisis, we know Aussies are doing it really tough right now, so it’s never been more important for Orange Sky to launch more services and help more communities in need,” Mr Patchett said.
“As we have seen throughout the latest ABS Census data, the need for support services in the Bundaberg Region is increasing.
“Through the support of the Minderoo Foundation providing partial funding for the service, and working hand-in-hand with the Angel's Community Group and the community, we are excited to launch a new Orange Sky service to support our friends doing it tough in the region.”
About Orange Sky
Established in Brisbane in 2014, Orange Sky is the world’s first free mobile laundry and shower service, now operating 56 services – which is made up of predominantly laundry and shower vans, and a mix of semi-mobile and permanent sites – in 34 locations across Australia.
Its mission is to create a safe, positive and supportive environment for people experiencing homelessness or hardship, who are often ignored or feel disconnected from the community.
Staffed by volunteers who are empathetic listeners and great conversationalists, Orange Sky aims to positively connect everyday Australians and New Zealanders through clean clothes, warm showers and conversation.
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