In Australia, one in six children live below the poverty line and with the rising cost of living, it’s likely the number of families struggling to make ends meet will only continue to grow. 

As a result of this staggering statistic, families who are struggling to pay for essentials such as rent and food, school items like clean uniforms and sports clothes are luxuries that are often neglected from the priorities list. Sadly, this has a significant impact on a child’s ability to attend school with confidence and gain a solid education.

To lighten the load for families in need, Orange Sky is excited to be partnering with OMO to deliver ‘The Confidence Cycle’; an initiative that will support our mobile laundry and shower services in key school catchment areas across QLD and NSW.

This exciting partnership will ensure Aussie school kids can take on the school week with fresh, clean uniforms, washed and dried for free at an Orange Sky shift.

Orange Sky volunteer Lyndal Lowth from Cairns says “I have been volunteering with Orange Sky for three years and have connected with a number of young families. I have often chatted to children on shift and they have told me that they weren’t able to go to school that day because they didn’t have any clean clothes.”

“Some of these families have shared that they see education as a priority for their kids – we’ve seen parents waiting at our shift locations from 4:30am to be first in line for our 8am shift so their children’s school uniforms can be washed and dried ready for a school day.”

Lorna Ash, General Manager, Homecare Australia and New Zealand at Unilever said that OMO was proud to be partnering with Orange Sky on this significant partnership.

“With the cost of living continuing to rise, many Aussie families are doing it tough at the moment. Our aim in partnering with Orange Sky is to lighten the load for these families in a small but important way, ensuring that Aussie kids have access to clean uniforms and the confidence they bring.,” said Ms Ash.

Orange Sky Co-Founder and CEO, Lucas Patchett added that clean clothes and showers can make a massive difference to someone’s day, but what makes Orange Sky’s services so impactful is the hours of genuine, non-judgemental conversation and connection that take place between their volunteers and the friends accessing their services each and every day. 

“Since launching Orange Sky, I’ve seen people in some really tough situations, including young families whose kids weren’t in school due to not having clean uniforms,” Lucas said. 

“Not only does Orange Sky provide an essential service, but it also offers a safe, welcoming, and non-judgemental place and thanks to our friends at OMO, we’re going to be able to continue to grow our services and reach more people in need.”

Our mission is to create a safe, positive and supportive environment for people experiencing homelessness who are often ignored or feel disconnected from the community. Currently Orange Sky operates 52 services – which is made up of predominantly laundry and shower vans, and a mix of semi-mobile and permanent sites – in 32 locations across Australia, and 4 services in 3 locations in New Zealand, offering endless hours of conversation facilitated by a team of passionate volunteers. 

OMO is proudly supporting Orange Sky’s services in three locations across Australia; Newcastle, Beenleigh and Cairns. Shifts within these areas that are specifically operating within school catchment regions include:

  • Newcastle, NSW – Catholic Care Hamilton South, 29 Fowler Street, Hamilton South, New South Wales, 2303 
  • Beenleigh, QLD – Hugh Muntz Park, Reisers Road, Beenleigh, QLD, 4207 
  • Cairns, QLD – Cairns Villa and Leisure Park, 28 Pease St, Manoora, Queensland, 4870 

Thank you to OMO for allowing Orange Sky to positively connect more communities and providing a boost of confidence to kids across Australia!