Orange Sky to officially launch mobile laundry van in Newcastle this Thursday

Orange Sky will launch a mobile laundry van in the Newcastle region on Thursday in partnership with the Development and Relief Agency (DARA).

Providing free washing and drying for people doing it tough across Newcastle and surrounding areas, the new laundry van, which has been funded by DARA, will service 12 shifts across six days. The service will work in conjunction with DARA’s van, which offers hospitality and support to the community in Islington Park from 5pm each Saturday.

Orange Sky Co-Founders, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, were named 2016 Young Australians of the Year for their work in establishing the organisation. Lucas said the newest vehicle in Orange Sky’s fleet would help to provide those doing it tough with a sense of connection back to their communities.

“Our key aim is to positively connect the community - whether that be through a load of laundry or a conversation,” he said.

“People across the region will soon have access to basic laundry facilities for free. More importantly though, they will have the opportunity to build relationships with volunteers and have some really great conversations.”

With more than 28,000 people homeless in New South Wales, Nic said the service would be an important part of helping those in need.

“Since Orange Sky kicked off in October 2014, we have been continually blown away by the support we’ve received and how well the vans have been integrated into a range of communities,’’ he said.

“We are so excited for this new van to start having a massive impact in Newcastle and surrounding regions.”

Leading the charge for more coordination in locally based support services, Vice Chancellor Administration for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Mr Sean Scanlon said they’re committed to working with the Orange Sky team to bring new services to the region:

“We’re excited to extend the reach of our support, and by partnering with a complementary service like Orange Sky, we can now offer integrated laundry and hospitality services to some of our community’s most vulnerable.”

“With a range of services already available in the region, we see it as essential that we lead the way in coordinating these to make it as easy as possible for people to connect, wherever they are located,’’ Mr Scanlon said.

After being launched in 2014, Orange Sky has expanded to 16 laundry vans and three shower vans across Australia. It does more than 7.2 tonnes of laundry every week. A cohort of 800 volunteers have fostered more than 73,000 hours of genuine conversations with friends on the street.

A new agency for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, the Development and Relief Agency (DARA) identifies, reaches out and supports those in our community who are disadvantaged, marginalised, oppressed or isolated by cultural, ethnic or religious differences. DARA’s van provides hospitality and friendship to the marginalised in our community – those who are experiencing homelessness, socially isolated, financially stressed and all who are vulnerable.


WHAT: Launch of Newcastle’s first Orange Sky mobile laundry van in partnership with the Development and Relief Agency.
WHEN: Thursday 3 August 2017, 8am – 10am

WHERE: Islington Park – Maitland Road, Islington

WHO: Orange Sky Co-Founders, and 2016 Young Australians of the Year Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, representatives of the newly formed Development and Relief Agency.

Media contacts
Kate Bennett 0419 263 901
Megan Groundwater: 0447 816 257


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