As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect families, communities and countries around the world, Orange Sky continues to monitor how best to support the health, safety and well being of our friends, volunteers, supporters and staff.
It is with great disappointment that we share the Orange Sky Board, Senior Leadership Team and COVID-19 response team have made the difficult decision to pause shifts in their current form for up to the next three weeks. There is potential for this to be extended based on government advice.
Our remote services in Palm Island, Lockhart River and Maningrida will continue to operate as normal.
We are proud and inspired by our team everyday and are committed to finding innovative ways to keep the most vulnerable people in our community connected over this time. Our volunteers have been doing such an amazing job keeping our friends connected during this difficult time, and this decision was not made lightly. These are challenging times for us all as we come together to fight the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, we are reminded about the importance of keeping our community safe, as well as the care and compassion of the people around us. Our main responsibility at this time is to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our friends, volunteers, fellow service providers and the general public.
Any future decision about getting our shifts back up and running will be guided by the most up to date and reliable information from the Australian Government. If you have been following us over the last few years, you will know that something like this will not stop us from delivering our mission to positively connect communities. We continue to be incredibly grateful for your support, as we work hard to deliver our mission and support our friends doing it tough.
As COVID-19 continues to challenge our communities, Orange Sky’s leadership team has made the decision to close HQ for three weeks, requesting staff to work from home until Sunday, April 12. We will update our community if any of this information changes.
To all of our wonderful friends who use our service, we are thinking of you at this extremely difficult time. We will back as soon as we can providing free laundry and showers, and most importantly, sitting down for a chat with you on our six orange chairs.
Please find below the latest updates and information about COVID-19 relating to Orange Sky volunteers.
23 March, 2020
To our volunteer family,
These are challenging times for all of us as we come together to fight the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, we are reminded about the importance of keeping our community safe, as well as the care and compassion of the people around us.
The Orange Sky Board, Senior Leadership Team and COVID-19 response team have made the difficult decision to pause shifts in their current form for up to the next three weeks. There is potential for this to be extended based on government advice.
We are proud and inspired by our team everyday and are committed to finding innovative ways to keep the most vulnerable people in our community connected over this time.
You have all have been doing such amazing work keeping our friends connected to our shifts, and we hope you know that this decision was not made lightly. Our main responsibility at this time is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our friends, volunteers, fellow service providers and the general public.
Any future decision about recommencing shifts will be guided by the most up to date and reliable information from the Australian Government. If you’ve been volunteering with us for the last few years or following Orange Sky’s journey, you will know that something like this will not stop us from delivering our mission to positively connect communities.
We also want to send a clear message to our friends – we know this is going to be an incredibly challenging time and we want to assure our community that we will be working everyday to get conversations happening again on our six orange chairs.
We will be keeping our lines of communication open, so please contact us at email@example.com or call Service Support (0488 851 113) if you have any questions or concerns. We understand that these are uncertain times and that you may be feeling heightened levels of concern and anxiety. We’d like to remind you that you are able to access VESP if you have any questions or concerns.
Thank you again for all your support as we navigate this new environment. We will be in touch with more information soon.
Nic and Lucas,
Orange Sky Co-Founders
18 March, 2020
– Wipe all contact surfaces* with approved disinfectant solution and a disposable cloth;
– Dispose of gloves after use; and
– Put gloves and cloths in a bin which should be disposed of at the end of each shift.
Drivers and passengers: When you collect the van, wipe down steering wheel, indicators, door handles, hand brake, seat belt. When you return to base, ensure you repeat this wipe down of all contact points in the van.
After every shower: Spray and wipe down all contact points in the shower cubicle including handrails and door handles. When cleaning the showers wear gloves, a mask and protective eyewear (wipe over glasses after use).
13 March, 2020
11 March, 2020
With the latest updates from health authorities due to COVID-19, Orange Sky has made the decision to suspend any training sessions for new volunteers until further notice. We love welcoming new people into the Orange Sky family and we’ll need volunteer support more than ever when our shifts are back up and running at full capacity.
Once we are ready to open new applications for volunteering, applicants will be notified via email when a session is scheduled in your local area. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
If you are a service provider, please keep us updated with any changes to your service provision or environment that may have consequences for us partnering with you at your location in the future.
Donate funds to help Orange Sky continue to deliver our mission and support our friends doing it tough.
If you’d like more information, please click the link below to get in touch.
Follow our socials for up to date information on how Orange Sky is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as some positive news stories about our community
17 Dover Street, Albion Queensland 4010 • (07) 3067 5800
AUSTRALIA | NEW ZEALAND | UNITED STATES
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect families, communities and countries around the world, Orange Sky has been monitoring how best to support the health, safety and well being of our friends, volunteers, supporters and staff.
Orange Sky has a strong and embedded health and safety culture, and we will do all we can to avoid risks that could negatively impact the people in our community. We are currently implementing a measured approach to support as many of our shifts to stay in operation as we can. We will notify of any changes to shifts as required and provide as frequent updates as possible through our channels.
As COVID-19 continues to challenge our communities, Orange Sky’s leadership team has made the decision to close high risk environments such as HQ for the next 14 days, requesting staff to work from home until Monday, 30 March. We will update our community if any of this information changes.
If you are a volunteer, we’d encourage you to work with your local teams to assess your shift situation and determine the level of risk for your attendance.
If you are a service provider, please communicate any changes to your service provision or environment that may have consequences for us partnering with you at your location by completing this form
If you are looking to access our services real time information will be available via our website as to whether services have been cancelled . You can find this at orangesky.org.au/locations
For further, specific information on COVID-19 please visit the Australian Government Health website or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
A special shout out to our friends doing it tough, who might have limited access to services during this difficult time. Stay safe everyone, and please take care of yourselves and each other.
Orange Sky Australia
Flu season can be a particularly hard time of the year for our friends. While we continue to offer free laundry, warm showers and great conversation out on shift, we wanted to take the opportunity to keep you informed with recommended preventions you can take to protect yourself this flu season.
These suggestions are useful to help limit the spread of germs found in the common cold, flu and widely publicised Covid-19 (Coronavirus) currently in the headlines. We don’t want to create alarm, rather we want to ensure that you – our volunteers – are kept informed and can make sensible decisions around your health this flu season.
While we intend for our services to continue operating, if you do feel sick please stay at home and inform your Team Leader. Resting up and consulting your GP is advised.
• Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to commencing work or volunteering, after sneezing and coughing, going to the bathroom, or after touching objects that may have been in contact with people exhibiting flu-like symptoms;
• Use hand sanitiser available on shift;
• Wear gloves while on shift and handling any washing or cleaning items.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick;
• If you feel sick, please stay at home, rest up and visit your GP;
• Know the signs of a flu – fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath; and
Be mindful of physical contact with people displaying flu-like symptoms – consider replacing handshakes with the Orange Sky approved fist bump!
• If you have been in, departed from, or transited through mainland China, Iran or South Korea in the last 14 days, you should:
Self isolate yourself from others for 14 days from the day you departed China, Iran or South Korea. Feel free to roster yourself back on shift at the conclusion of your 14-day self-isolation period; and
Monitor yourself for symptoms.
For further, specific information on Coronavirus, please read through the link from the Australian Government Health Department website. You can also contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for any other guidance as well. https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Stay safe this flu season, please do not panic, look out for yourselves and each other and if you have any questions, please contact your Service or Team Leader or Service Support on 0488851113 for guidance and advice.
Our first ever staff member at Orange Sky was a web developer. We knew back then that technology would be key to helping us expand – and we couldn’t survive today without the programs our tech team has built.
This International Women’s Day (IWD), we are highlighting three super talented and diverse women who are writing their own #girlsintech narrative through their passion for helping others.
One of the missions of IWD is about celebrating women in tech and championing those who are ‘forging innovation through technology’.
Kaira, Bandita and Alice are part of the Campfire team at Orange Sky. They all bring different backgrounds and skill sets with them, but share the same goal – improved outcomes for our friends.
1. What is your role in the Campfire team
I am the UI/UX Designer in Campfire’s product team.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
I spend my days gathering research, hunting for bugs on existing features and designing exciting new additions to expand Campfire’s offerings.
3. What excites you about being in not-for profit (NFP) tech?
The NFP industry is one that has faced many challenges in being able to find technology that truly understands its needs, and has often had to adapt its way of operations to fit the mould of commercial platforms.
Just as people need to wear shoes that fit well to walk comfortably, each sector also needs technology attuned to their needs and wants – and being a part of this journey to create technology tailored to the NFP industry is a huge source of excitement and motivation for me.
1. What is your role in the Campfire team
I am a front end developer.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
I am responsible for implementing the visual elements of Campfire. Although I am known for my love for detail and pixel perfection, I also love to learn everything web-related to stay relevant to the ever-changing tech landscape.
3. What excites you about being in a NFP tech?
My interest in combining technical skills with social good and social impact comes from my background in social work and software development. Technology and digital transformation comes with the good, the bad and the ugly. I believe in harnessing the good of technology to empower communities and tackle some of the challenges of the NFP sector. I am committed to bringing about change in the NPF sector… one line of code at a time.
1. What is your role in the Campfire team?
I am a front end developer
3. What excites you about being in NFP tech?
My interest in combining technical skills with social good and social impact comes from my background in social work and software development. Technology and digital transformation comes with the good, the bad and the ugly. I believe in harnessing the good of technology to empower communities and tackle some of the challenges of NFP sector. I am committed to bring about the change NFP sector needs one line of code at a time.
1. What is your role in the Campfire team?
I am the Customer Success Coordinator.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
I liaise with our current partners of Campfire to ensure that everything is running smoothly, but also to on-board their volunteers successfully. This is a dream role for me, as it combines a lot of different experiences I have had over the years and piles it into a job in which I wear a lot of different hats (and love it!).
3. What excites you about being in NFP tech?
NFP tech is so different to anything I have ever worked in before – from the founder stories of our partners to the vision and dream of their missions. But it doesn’t stop there – the amazing people that make the vision and mission possible are the volunteers.
Being a volunteer is a commitment of time and character, and finding a way to recognise and reward those volunteers can be a struggle for our partners. Enabling this through technology is incredibly powerful and the most rewarding part of my job.
Kaira, Bandita and Alice are just three of the incredible women at Orange Sky who are making a difference every day. We’re grateful for all the women in our community who help make Orange Sky a place where everyone feels connected, included and genuinely welcome.
In 2010, 36.2% of people aged 18+ (6.1 million) had volunteered.
In 2010, formal volunteering (excluding travel) was worth $25.4 billion to the Australian economy.
96% of volunteers say that it “makes people happier.”
Sustained volunteering is associated with better mental health.
Support our friends on the street this holiday period
Coming out around the Christmas period is always a highlight of my year. I came out last year and just felt like I was part of Orange Sky’s mission to be a consistent presence for our friends. It’s a good feeling to be able to come out with the team at a time like Christmas to show our friends we really are committed and it’s no skin off our back. I mean it’s a couple of hours a week or fortnight and I think it is much more powerful to be consistent and reliable then just come when you can. It’s good that Orange Sky works hard to operate right the way through and it really helps strengthen how genuine the community is.
I get a lot out of it for myself, to be honest. To come and spend time with our community down here was a great way to finish Christmas for me. I got a lot out of it to come and say Merry Christmas to everyone and put a smile on all their faces and it puts a smile on my face. I wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t get a lot out of it. I think something that the volunteers and supporters can take comfort in is that you’re getting out what you put in. If you come along and get involved, you really do create genuine connections and it’s no longer just an obligation to turn up to a shift. You want to go and catch up with friends like Ros and I think just knowing that you provide a bit to them makes you feel good for coming.
One in seven homeless Australians are 55 years or older
A third of people over 55 are living on less than $400 a week
Between 2011 and 2016, the proportion of older people who were homeless increased.
Older people living in severely crowded dwellings increased to 44 per cent in 2016, from 35 per cent in 2001.
Jay Almaraz, Campfire Product Lead
If ever the Orange Sky story was one that begged to be shared, 90 seconds was far from the ideal length of time – but that was the challenge we were tasked with if we wanted to walk away with $1 million from Google.org.
We landed in Sydney before the sun had set the day prior and met up for dinner with an expectedly casual Lucas and an uncharacteristically anxious Nic. Tomorrow was the day of the Google Impact Challenge (GIC), an initiative by Google.org to power community minded projects. For the rest of us, the day was an opportunity to explore the Google Sydney campus and bump shoulders with other bright and interesting people. But for Nic, the day centred on a single performance; the pitch. Show them what you’ve got, pitch your idea, tell them where we’re going, and why Google.org should be the ones to help us get there.
It wasn’t a red vs. blue competition, everybody was there for the same reason; hoping to make the biggest possible impact for the community. Still, the panel of judges had the challenge of selecting three organisations out of the ten finalists. Eventually the time came to announce the winners: Xceptional – helping people with autism overcome employment challenges, Humanitix – a platform turning ticket surcharge into social impact, and Hireup – a platform for people with disabilities to connect with the perfect support workers.
Each winner accepted their position with a quick word of thanks, then returned to their seats. We all remained glued to ours, the pit in my stomach was so big I mightn’t have been able to stand up even if I tried. It wasn’t over yet though, as there was another award to be presented… the People’s Choice: Orange Sky.
Our mission is to positively connect communities, and that mission goes beyond vans and laundry. Community is a symbol of connection, conversation and depends entirely on the people within. It makes us so proud to think that our Orange Sky community, the people we connect with, backed us through the Google Impact Challenge. It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to an exciting new Orange Sky story.
Campfire is a platform built to empower other volunteer driven organisations with the tools to amplify their social impact, and connect with their volunteers. Campfire delivers features that have been derived from systems Orange Sky has been using and developing every day since 2016. The Google Impact Challenge award money has allowed us to fast track the development of Campfire, starting with finding the right people.
Growing Campfire from the stem of Orange Sky’s technology is an engineering problem, and to solve it we needed engineers. We set our sights on recruiting software developers who were talented in their craft, tenacious in their character and passionate in their purpose. At each point along the way, we found someone who fit the bill, and the result is a tremendous trio who have since joined myself and Tony on the engineering team. Tom, Lewis, and Bandita are all onboard now to help build Campfire to be the best platform possible.
Without a design team, Campfire was at risk of being a splintery ship; painful to look at and hazardous to board. The amazing Kaira joined the crew and is our User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) designer. Thanks to her guidance, Campfire is a pleasure to use and a beauty to behold. We are establishing an experience that is as frictionless as software can be, for every volunteer and manager, every step of the way.
With the addition of Mike to help us lead the project, we had a team ready to power our ship and we set sail. Inheriting some early work, our captains were at the wheel and Campfire was well underway. With the GIC award filling our sails and a crew founded under Orange Sky’s mission, we are steering Campfire to the destination that we imagined one year ago. A platform to give the for-purpose sector a new edge through technology, to ultimately amplify their social impact and help to positively connect the community.
A huge thank you must go to Google.org – without their support, we wouldn’t have achieved what we have to date in building Campfire and creating a tool to help volunteer organisations around Australia and the world.
According to the Work Health and Safety Act, while at work, a worker must:
(a) take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety; and
(b) take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons;
Now, this sounds a lot like one of our Orange Person Characteristics…
In 2014, two young blokes named Nic and Lucas found out that there were 116,000 Australians experiencing homelessness.
To put that in perspective, the MCG – our country’s biggest sporting arena – holds 100,000 people. Let that sink in for a bit.
Nic and Lucas knew that it was a big number and they wanted to do something to help. They had a crazy idea to build a free mobile laundry service and decided to hit up a big laundry company to get some washers and dryers.
The boys were told that it would never work, that no one would wash and dry their clothes in a park and that the machines would never operate in the back of a van.
It took them three days (and three sets of washing machines and dryers from the laundry company) to get the van working.
Nic, Lucas and Sudsy hit the streets and met a friend named Jordan. With the machines in full swing, there wasn’t a lot left to do but sit down and chat – and that’s where they learnt the real impact of the service. Sure, having clean clothes was important, but sitting down with Jordan and genuinely listening to his experience meant so much more.
That’s why at Orange Sky, our mission doesn’t involve the words ‘laundry’ or ‘washing’ – it is to positively connect communities.
We see everyday the power of a simple conversation and how feeling connected and part of a community can change a person’s life.
Here’s just a few of the friends that we’ve learnt that from over the past four and a half years:
George is one of our friends on the street who comes to shift each week to wash his clothes, have a warm shower and sit down for a chat with volunteers. He knows that he can rely on Orange Sky to be at the same place, same time, each and every week.
George has spent the past eight years living on and off the street and said it was the simple things that often had the biggest impact. “When you’ve been homeless for such a long time, it’s the small things that can give you a little bit more hope.”
When we first met Harry, he didn’t have a home, but we were able to provide him with access to clean clothes and genuine conversation. Harry taught us that homelessness is not about the absence of a roof over your head, but rather the absence of human connection. Although he no longer uses our laundry service, Harry still comes down every week for a chat with volunteers on our six orange chairs.
116,000 Australians are disconnected from the community and in need of support and human connection. But there’s something we can all do to help.
At Orange Sky, we’re lucky to have an amazing community of people who believe in what we do and support our crazy ideas – like the one to build a free mobile laundry van named Sudsy.
So, here’s another one for you all. It’s called The Sudsy Challenge; keep your kit on for three days, start conversations and support friends on the street.
Wearing the same clothes for three days in a row might be difficult or inconvenient, but that’s the whole point. It might give you just a small insight into some of the many challenges faced by our friends on the street. But it also might start a few conversations. Conversations that will help to raise funds and awareness so that everyone can have access to free laundry, warm showers and genuine conversation.
Help us build more vans like Sudsy and positively connect all Australians in need.
Sign up today for The Sudsy Challenge!
The truth is, there are a thousand different ways to do it! We’ll give you a toolkit with some fun and out of the box ideas, so it won’t even feel like you’re hosting a fundraiser. We’ll also be here to support you the whole way through and keep you going when you just don’t think you can wear those socks for a third day in a row!
You’ve hooked people in with your clothes, but what next? A big part of experiencing homelessness is feeling disconnected from the community, and that why conversations are so important. The idea is that your outfit starts conversations – and in turn, raises some much needed funds for Orange Sky.
Your choice of clothing is totally up to you. You can keep your kit on in one of our event t-shirts (that we’ll send you when you sign up), the comfiest outfit in your cupboard or something that screams ‘I am doing The Sudsy Challenge!’ like a space suit or tutu.
Receive an impact report quarterly, detailing how your partnership has positively impacted the community (ie number of washes, showers and conversations)
As National Partner, we can create customised partnership T-shirts for your team, promoting our engagement and joint branding. These can be our uniform for joint events, fundraising and promotion.
At Orange Sky HQ, we will provide a dedicated co-working space for your team. This is an area for your team to feel part of the Orange Sky journey, collaborate on hack-a-thons and deliver customer meetings that highlight the partnership.
Vehicle Partners support the capital costs (33 percent to 100 percent) of Orange Sky’s laundry ($110k), shower ($110k), hybrid ($140k) or remote vehicles ($140k), for which they receive partnership benefits in return as outlined in Partnership Benefits matrix.
National Sponsors commit to donating between $200k – $500k p/a for a minimum term of three years, for which they receive partnership benefits in return as outlined in Partnership Benefits matrix.
Principal Partners are businesses, individuals, institutions or organisations who commit to donating $500k and above p/a for a minimum term of three years, for which they receive partnership benefits in return as outlined in Partnership Benefits matrix.
State partners commit to donating between $100,000 – $200,000 p/a for a minimum term of two years, for which they receive partnership benefits in return as outlined in Partnership Benefits matrix.
An exclusive once a year Orange Sky event that brings together our network of partners, innovators and change makers in the business community. It’s an opportunity to network and collaborate with like-minded individuals as we tackle an Orange Sky challenge and hatch new ideas that will help Orange Sky continue to positively connect the community.
We will work with your corporate and social responsibility team to create a workplace giving program.
Working with your Orange Sky Partnership Manager, we will work to create a launch that encompasses your network, stakeholders, community, staff or all of the above. We have had immense impact in the media, industry and community through our creative approach to raising awareness – let us take you on that journey.
Through your unique partner portal login, you will also receive an Annual Impact Report which includes recognition of the partnership, statistics of contribution and how it has impacted the community.
We will supply you with ‘Proudly supporting Orange Sky’ or ‘Proudly supporting www.orangesky.org.au’ logos for your company marketing or event material.
Download a monthly newsletter with details on the direct impact that your contribution is making in the community. Your electronic report will arrive in the form of a co-branded email; a great tool to share with your staff, stakeholders and customers allowing them access to the most up to date information on how you are supporting our friends doing it tough.
Every partnership is a relationship and our mission at all levels is to stay connected. That is why your business will be assigned an awesome Orange Sky manager to keep you up to date on the partnership, our joint engagement and your impact. It’s important to us that you understand just how important you are! We will work with you and support you to identify and create beneficial opportunities to continue to maximize the relationship.
A regular communication on Orange Sky news, events, impact and growth. Can be sent to any number of your staff, customers, partners or community.
Access to leadership team and Orange Sky founders for professional development days, networking events or ideation sessions.
Tailored to your messaging needs, a video capturing our joint partnership produced by the Orange Sky creative team. This case study is a great tool to for internal or external use (ie. end of year reports, company functions, website, social promotion, reception loop etc)
Principal Sponsors are businesses, individuals, institutions or organisations who commit to donating $500k and above p/a for a minimum term of three years for which they receive sponsorship benefits in return, as outlined in Sponsorship Benefits Matrix.