Orange Sky, along with our communities, operates in a world that continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but what remains the same is our commitment to innovating and supporting our friends on the street.

Our mission to positively connect communities is as important as ever right now; we remain focused on ensuring we can deliver our service to friends and volunteers in safe environments.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions, and should you require any further information, you can get in touch with our team on the details listed below.

Using our Service and Shift Information

For the most up-to-date information on whether shifts are operating, please visit the Find a Shift page. The ‘latest updates’ below also provide the most recent COVID-19 information for our services across Australia.

Orange Sky has put in place a COVID-19 Risk Management Framework and local management plans in line with public health measures issued by state health authorities, the Department of Health and Safe Work Australia to create the safest environment possible with the changing circumstances. The safety measures within this plan are outlined below. We ask for all individuals who attend shift to adhere to the health authorities advice.

To keep our community safe, we would appreciate it if you don’t utilise the service whilst experiencing any cold and/or flu like symptoms. We understand this is a hard time for many. Doing what we can to minimise the spread of the virus will ensure that our orange vans can continue to show up each week to deliver free laundry, warm showers and genuine conversation.

It is currently not a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend an Orange Sky shift and access our services. However, we encourage our community to follow the government health advice. During times of increased risks from COVID-19, some services may require volunteers to be vaccinated to be on shift.

Regardless of where in Australia you live, if you’re experiencing homelessness, support is available. Homelessness Australia has pulled together a list of relevant resources for every state and territory.

Another resource is Ask Izzy, a free, anonymous website that connects people in need to everything from housing, a meal, financial help, domestic violence support, counselling and more, with more than 350,000 services around the country. If you’re on the Telstra or Vodafone mobile networks, you can access Ask Izzy on your phone even if you don’t have credit or access to wifi. You can also now use any public telephone in Australia which is free. 

You can also visit the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service provided by Beyond Blue for information and advice about managing your mental health or find a health professional to speak to.

Service Partners and Operations

The best place for the most up-to-date information on whether shifts are operating is via the FIND A SHIFT page. The ‘latest updates’ below also provides the most recent COVID-19 information for our services across Australia.

Keeping the community safe is one of Orange Sky’s highest priorities and we take this seriously as an organisation. We have created a COVID-19 Risk Management Framework and local management plans consisting of multiple controls to support keeping the community safe. While several of these will be in place for the foreseeable future, other control measures are activated based on the current risk levels based on the state and territory. 

The controls consist of the following: 

    1. Recommendations to stay up to date with your vaccinations and continue to follow the advice from health authorities.
    2. Social distancing (1.5m) and encouraging others to do so as well.
    3. Masks are available on shifts and must be worn at all times when mandated by the relevant state authority. 
    4. If volunteers are sick, they must not attend shift.
    5. Hand hygiene is promoted throughout the shift including washing hands regularly with soap and water and/or using the hand sanitiser on shift.
    6. Increased cleaning during and at the end of shift including touchpoints, orange chairs, tables, door handles, washing baskets etc.
    7. The use of PPE including disposable gloves, masks, and safety glasses.
    8. Instructional safety posters and signage visible on shift including our ‘standards of procedure’ 
    9. A cordon designed to help control the flow of people to ensure we can continue to socially distance safely.
    10. Vaccinations mandated in ‘Level 3’ service locations

We are continuously monitoring the situation and will communicate any further changes in our operations promptly. 

Volunteers

Our team works as quickly and transparently as possible with localised teams as soon as new information around COVID-19 requirements, restrictions and lockdowns  become available. Where possible, we work hard to ensure that shifts keep operating to ensure we can support our friends.

The Orange Sky operations team communicates with local leadership teams, team leaders and service providers, who will then communicate to all volunteers via your pre-determined WhatsApp group chat as soon as possible about whether a shift will be operating.

To find out the current classification for your shift, please visit the Orange Sky Portal (under the COVID-19 category) for an up-to-date list. Please note: it is possible for services to move up and down levels, depending on our current risk assessment at the time.

After extensive consultation with our volunteer community, we have reviewed and updated our COVID-19 Risk Management Framework to consider how and when vaccinations may be mandated across each of our service locations. From the 1st October 2021, a new decision-making matrix was implemented to determine the course of action for each service and/or state and territory. Vaccinations are not currently mandated, however they could be in the future to ensure that we can support our volunteers to deliver our services to friends in the safest possible environments should the risk levels rise, or state governments mandate vaccinations again.

Due to the ongoing risks COVID-19 continues to present in our communities, Orange Sky may choose to prioritise volunteers that are up to date with their vaccinations during times of heightened risk of COVID-19 or as required by government guidelines.

As part of the Orange Sky volunteer onboarding process, you will need to declare if you are up to date with your vaccinations, however, you do not need to provide evidence of vaccination. If you would prefer not to disclose if you are up to date with your vaccinations, simply select ‘no’ when signing up to be an Orange Sky volunteer. Selecting no will not affect your application process, and will not affect your ability to volunteer with Orange Sky, except during times of heightened risk of COVID-19 or as required by government guidelines, where confirmed vaccinated volunteers could be prioritised.

Orange Sky has a responsibility to provide a safe shift environment for friends, volunteers and service provider partners. Declaring if you are up to date with your vaccinations will help us to navigate possible impacts to our shifts in the event of future COVID-19 outbreaks, or new regulations that may be required by State Governments.
By understanding the rates of vaccination within our volunteer community, we can make informed decisions when reviewing risk management policies and processes; as well as being able to easily prioritise vaccinated volunteers on shift if required. By declaring if you are up to date with your vaccinations you will be helping to keep our vans on the road, providing meaningful connection and services to our friends.

Orange Sky volunteer leaders and Orange Sky HQ will be able to see your vaccination declaration response on your profile. However, your status will not affect your ability to volunteer with Orange Sky, except during times of heightened risk of COVID-19 or as required by government guidelines, where volunteers who are up to date with their vaccinations could be prioritised.

Level 2 services – these locations are under review with volunteers and service providers to ascertain how we can re-mobilise shifts in the safest way possible. Currently vaccinations are not mandated in these locations, but are recommended to keep yourselves and the community safe. Vaccinated volunteers in these locations will be prioritised on shift.

Level 3 servicesYes, volunteers need to be fully vaccinated on shifts operating at Level 3.

Your vaccination declaration will not affect your ability to volunteer with Orange Sky, except during times of heightened risk of COVID-19 or as required by government guidelines, where confirmed vaccinated volunteers could be prioritised.

If you are volunteering in a Level 3 location, unfortunately, you will not be able to volunteer with Orange Sky during this time. There is the possibility that a service can get downgraded to Level 2 or Level 1 in the future based on our COVID-19 Risk Management Framework, at which point you may be able to join a shift again. 

Service Leaders and Service Coordinators will see which volunteers have completed the COVID-19 Vaccination Declaration. Utilising this information, they will attempt to fill each shift by rostering volunteers who have confirmed their vaccination declaration in the first instance. Prioritising vaccinated volunteers ensures that we can support teams to deliver our service to friends in the safest possible environments.

If you’re feeling unwell, please make sure you stay home and get tested. Please notify your Team Leader as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a shift. 

If your vaccination declaration has changed since you signed up with Orange Sky, you can email us at volunteer@orangesky.org.au with your details and we can update your vaccination declaration in Volaby.

Orange Sky offers a VESP program to all volunteers which provides a free and confidential mental health support service. The program is designed to help you overcome any issues impacting your mental wellbeing related to your time and experience volunteering with Orange Sky. The program allows volunteers to access up to three support sessions per year. You can book a free session via the Portal.

If you have any further questions, please contact Orange Sky via the following: 

General enquiries: (07) 3067 5800

Volunteer enquiries: volunteer@orangesky.org.au 

Friends accessing our services

To find out if there is a shift near you or access the most up to date information, click the ‘find a shift’ button below or at the top of the page.

Find A Shift

Service providers

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.

Contact Us

Latest Updates

In response to surging COVID-19 cases across the country, and to ensure the safety of our volunteers, friends and service providers, all services previously at ‘Level 1’ are now being classified as ‘Level 2’ in line with our COVID-19 management plan.

Please read carefully the information about Level 2 and the ‘Amber’ COVID-19 control measures, which are in place effective immediately.

  1. Face masks (surgical or N95) are mandatory
  2. Vaccinated volunteers will be prioritised*
  3. Cordons (sq meter rule) to be used on shift
  4. Limited physical contact (social distance where possible)
  5. The use of PPE (safety goggles for Hybrid/Shower Vans)
  6. Signs with COVID-19 information to be displayed on shift
  7. Pre-start huddle 5 minutes before your shift to cover shift safety and ensure correct set up.
  8. Increased local comms from HQ

*If you are an unvaccinated rostered volunteer, you will continue to be rostered as per normal. Vaccinated volunteers will be prioritised for new shifts and as additional volunteers are needed for existing shifts.

Our Operations Team at HQ will continue to be in contact with a member of your local leadership team to provide further information and ensure the supply of any essential items.

If you have questions, please visit our COVID FAQs (above) before reaching out to your Team Leader.

The Northern Territory Government has announced that from 12:01am today (November 05, 2021), Katherine (including Tindal) will enter a three-day hard lockdown, with the Greater Darwin area going into a three-day ‘lockout’ after the Northern Territory recorded its first community transmitted COVID-19 case.

The three-day Katherine lockdown and Greater Darwin lockout is due to lift at midnight on Sunday November 7, 2021.

To find out more about the Katherine and Greater Darwin snap lockdown and lockout, including exposure sites, please click here.

How the Greater Darwin lockout impacts Orange Sky services:

As Orange Sky volunteers are classified as ‘essential workers’, shifts in the Greater Darwin region will continue to operate.

In line with the Orange Sky Covid-19 Risk Management Framework, the Darwin Orange Sky shifts have been upgraded to ‘Amber’ controls, however the region will continue to remain as a level 1 rating (visit FAQ 2 for more information on classification levels).

The Orange Sky team are working closely with Darwin volunteers to ensure all ‘Amber’ level control measures are accessible and implemented.

The safety of our volunteers and friends is our biggest priority. We will be reviewing Darwin closely to ensure our teams feel safe and supported in delivering services during this time.

Please keep up to date with all of our latest updates via the FAQs above, or feel free to get in contact with our team via volunteer@orangesky.org.au.

Update on Relaxing Restrictions in NSW

The New South Wales Government has announced updates on relaxing restrictions. From 11 October, stay at home orders have been lifted across the state and Local Government Areas of concern no longer exist. All new rules and restrictions are categorised based on whether an individual is fully vaccinated or not fully vaccinated. A fully vaccinated person is someone who has received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccination or has a medical exemption.

Orange Sky volunteers are no longer required to register their travel to and from shift and can travel anywhere in New South Wales to volunteer. Driver training can now resume for NSW services, as carpooling is now allowed for fully vaccinated people and for those who are not fully vaccinated when using a vehicle for work purposes.

While restrictions across the state are easing, under Orange Sky’s COVID-19 Risk Management Framework Sydney Services are still classified as Level 3, with other services in the state remaining in the Level 2 category. For more information on Orange Sky’s COVID-19 response and risk management, click here to access our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.

Click here to access the updated COVID-19 rules for fully vaccinated people in New South Wales and click here to access information on the current regulations for those who are not fully vaccinated.

Update for our Tasmanian Community

The Tasmanian Government has introduced a 3 day lockdown of southern Tasmania effective from 6pm tonight, 15 October 2021. The Local Government Areas impacted include Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence City, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Hobart City, Huon Valley, Sorell, Southern Midlands, Tasman and Kingborough.

It has also been mandated that anyone over the age of 12 must wear a face mask when they leave their home.

Orange Sky remains an essential service, and as long as our service provider partners remain open or we are in a location where it is safe to operate without a service provider, we will continue to operate our shifts with the approved COVID-19 safety controls in place to support our friends, and keep our community safe.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch via our contact us page.

Update for Victorian Services

The Victorian Government has announced COVID-19 vaccinations will be made mandatory for all workers on the authorised worker list in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

From 15 October 2021, in order to attend an Orange Sky shift, you must be able to provide evidence that you have:

  1. Received at least your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or
  2. Have a booking to receive your first dose by 22 October 2021, or
  3. Have a medical exemption evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner.

This means that from 22 October 2021 onwards, you need to have received at least your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (unless you have a medical exemption) to attend shift. From 26 November 2021, the Victorian Government requires you to provide evidence to Orange Sky that you have received your second dose (unless you have a medical exemption) to attend shift.

Orange Sky is working to consult with our Victorian volunteers to implement the appropriate processes to support this mandate. Please keep up to date with all of our latest updates via the FAQ’s above, or feel free to get in with our team via volunteer@orangesky.org.au

After extensive consultation with our volunteer community over the past few months, we have reviewed and updated our COVID-19 Risk Management Framework to consider how and when vaccinations may be mandated across each of our service locations. From the 1st of October 2021, a newly created decision-making matrix will be implemented to determine the course of action for each service and/or state and territory. Vaccinations will now be mandated in ‘Level 3’ locations to ensure we can support our volunteers to deliver our service to friends in the safest possible environments.

Currently, only Sydney is categorised as ‘Level 3’ and all other service locations will continue to be monitored and assessed in conjunction with regular consultation with Service Providers and Service Leaders.

Further communications will be delivered to each of the Team Leaders and Service Leaders and please refer to the above Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

The NSW Government implemented two new rules that will/have come into affect in Sydney.

  1. From 12.01am on Saturday 28 August 2021 if you are living in or entering a local government area of concern to attend a shift you will need to register your travel. This registration is valid for a maximum of 14 days before people will need to apply.
  2. From Monday 6th September 2021, NSW Health has also announced changes in requirements for vaccination of authorised workers (Orange Sky volunteers are classified as authorised workers). If they are attending a shift in an LGA of concern, or are departing from an LGA of concern, they must now have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Although lockdowns across the country continue to impact our services, we were able to provide our friends with 600 loads of washing and 115 showers across 140 shifts over the past week. Due to tougher restrictions in a number of locations, we currently have more than 50 shifts paused across our services in Sydney, Central Coast, Wollongong, Port Macquarie, Northern Rivers, Melbourne and Canberra.

We are an essential service and can continue to operate, but we need to adapt and monitor the shift environment, volunteer voice and potential impact for our friends. We are continuing to monitor all health advice and ensure our COVID safe controls and procedures reflect the most up to date information.

We continue to monitor outbreaks in service locations across NSW, Victoria and Queensland and meet with local volunteer leaders on a regular basis. From time to time we may pause shifts or change locations to ensure shifts are able to run safely and friends can continue to access our services. We will continue to update this ‘Covid-19 updates’ page and where feasible provide as much notice as possible if there are any impacts to our services across the country. Orange Sky is classified as an essential service and will continue to endeavour to deliver as many shifts as possible.

Under the latest restrictions, volunteers who attend shift and live in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA are required to have a COVID-19 test every 3 days. If you live in this area and are currently rostered onto shift, we ask you to get tested every 72 hours and send results to volunteer@orangesky.org.au. A screen shot or photo of the results is all that needs to be sent. You do not need to get the results of your test before going on shift. You do not need to isolate while waiting for the results, as long as you have been tested you are fine to attend.

The QLD Government has introduced a 4 day lockdown effective from 4pm tonight, 31 July 2021. Orange Sky remains an essential service, and as such as long as our service provider partners remain open or we are in a location where it is safe to operate without a service provider, we will continue to operate all of our shifts across the impacted areas with the approved COVID-19 safety controls in place to support our friends. If you have any further questions on this, please get in touch via our contact us page.

After ongoing discussions with our local leadership teams, Orange Sky has made the decision to trial a number of shifts in Wollongong and the Central Coast this week. For the moment, shifts across Sydney will remain paused. This decision was made in line with government advice and recommendations; it is important that we take a measured and safe approach in returning to shifts. Orange Sky remains an essential service, and although we want to be back out there supporting friends, our number one priority remains the safety of our community. If you have any further questions on this, please get in touch via our contact us page.

Following the news today from the NSW Government and NSW Health on tightened COVID-19 restrictions across Greater Sydney including Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour we have made the difficult decision to pause all shifts from today across the above regions until next Friday, 16 July 2021, unless notified otherwise. This will allow us the time to ensure that we can support shifts operating in as safe environment as possible for our friends, volunteers and the greater community. You can read about the key principles that guide our decision making at the top of this page. If you have any further questions on this please get in touch via our contact us page here.

Keeping the community safe is one of Orange Sky’s highest priorities and we take this really seriously as an organisation. Throughout COVID-19 multi-layered controls (cordons, social distancing etc) have been put in place to support keeping the community safe. Some of these controls remain and some have changed depending on the current state of the community and restrictions. We regularly monitor and review to determine whether these controls suffice according to the latest advice from health regulators. The COVID-19 vaccination is another new control that is now available to the public at no cost. The vaccine will help to contribute to the safety of our volunteers, friends, staff and wider community. Our recommendation continues to be to listen to the public health authority advice and make informed decisions on how best to proceed. If you have any further questions on this please get in touch via our contact us page here.





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