Mackay Laundry Pods

Orange Sky's first ever laundry pods to support people doing it tough with clean clothes and genuine conversation.

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What is a Laundry Pod?

A laundry pod has three washers, three dryers and six orange chairs. Just like our laundry and shower service, it is run by Orange Sky volunteers and operates on a weekly shift schedule. We work alongside amazing service providers like the Sarina Neighbourhood Centre to make sure our service is accessible and people know it is available. People experiencing homelessness or just doing it tough can wash their clothes, sit down and have a genuine chat with someone who is ready to listen without judgement.

Why Mackay?

The 2016 Census indicates there are more than 400 people experiencing homelessness in Mackay. It is predicted that this figure will increase due to the effects of COVID-19 - not just in Mackay, but around the country. Orange Sky has been operating in the Mackay community since October 2017, providing friends doing it tough with around 1,200 loads of washing and 3,300 hours of genuine and non-judgemental conversation. Mackay is an ideal location to pilot a laundry pod, as we can closely monitor our social impact. Regional cities and smaller areas need different solutions to urban areas. Through piloting in Mackay with existing volunteers, we can learn and make sure it is an efficient and suitable solution.

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Messages from Mackay

Mayor Greg Williamson

“I understand this innovation from Orange Sky is being launched here in our district and that is something we welcome and are proud to support.  Orange Sky is a fantastic organisation that truly delivers a community solution to the members of the community most in need.”

Patrick ‘PJ’ Wells - Orange Sky Volunteer

“I am extremely proud to be an Orange Sky volunteer. I have never before felt so much heart, such gratification knowing that you are helping someone. I feel very strongly that it’s me that should be thanking Orange Sky. Volunteering allows me to contribute in such a powerful and meaningful way. I’m honoured to be a part of this exciting change and looking forward to my next life-changing conversation with one our friends in Mackay.”

Nic and Lucas - Orange Sky Co-Founders

“There has never been a more important time to launch our laundry pods. We know that the need for our service will continue to grow – and we want to be there on the other side with free laundry and six orange chairs ready to support anyone who needs it.”

Check them out for yourselves at Caneland Central

One of the Laundry Pods will be on display at Caneland Shopping Center so that you can see how they work. We would love to hear what you think!

About Orange Sky

In late 2014, two 20 year olds, Nic and Lucas, installed a couple of washing machines and dryers in the back of their old van and visited parks around Brisbane to wash and dry clothes for free. What started as an idea to improve hygiene standards and restore dignity to people doing it tough has evolved into something much bigger and more powerful. Orange Sky now operates across 31 services in locations around Australia. To date, we’ve provided 1,353,440kg of washing, 13,497 warm showers and most importantly, 233,235 hours of genuine and non-judgemental conversation.

Laundry Pod FAQs

Our first Laundry Pod is located at the Sarina Neighbourhood Centre 65 Broad Street, Sarina. To find up to date shift times and addresses head to locations.orangesky.org.au.

The laundry pod requires a minimum spacing of 1200mm deep, 2400mm long, and 2600mm height with clear access to the front face of the pod for operation of machines. We look for locations where the laundry pod can be installed with its rear face up against a wall to minimise obstruction. 

The laundry pod is sited on flat ground. It does not require a concrete pad to be poured for installation and will not be ‘bolted in’ to the ground. It is freestanding and considered a movable structure, although it will require machinery to un-install, move and transport to another location.
The Laundry Pod requires a 32A 3 phase connection at all times. During installation, an electrician will wire a 6mm 4 core and earth cable to the building/structure to provide power to the pod. The pod will be individually protected to ensure no disruption to current infrastructure. 
To provide water to all machines, the laundry pod has two fittings on the side to plumb the washing machines to both hot and cold water. We prefer that the desired location of installation already has close access to clean hot and cold water but upon inspection a decision is made on the feasibility of this installation process. 
The laundry pod requires a connection to grey water for disposing of used water. It is preferred that the desired location of installation already has close access to a connection suitable for disposing of grey water. Upon inspection, a decision is made on the feasibility of this installation process.
We have a super cool portal that we built in-house. Below are the things that our volunteers are supported with:
  • Pre-start, operational and shutdown/pack-up information
  • Notifications and bulletins
  • Incident management and reporting
  • Volunteer check in
  • Wash and friend’s data logging
  • Referral-based system (used to refer friends to other services they have identified they are in need of – housing, medical, mental health, etc.)
  • Training and operational procedures/troubleshooting
  • Orange Sky contact information.
We have three 10kg washers and dryers in our laundry pods that allow us to complete 60kg of washing every hour.
The laundry pod is insured by Orange Sky and lockable. Entry to the laundry pod will be by key/lock on the roller door. The unit will not be bolted or locked into/onto a building or the ground; however, due to the weight and bottom skirt (which is added after installation), the laundry pod will be very difficult to move without machinery. The laundry pod will have a GPS tracker installed to ensure any unauthorised movement is recorded.