2021’s first Community Champion is Orange Sky, an organisation that provides a free mobile laundry and shower service for people sleeping rough.
Each van is kitted out with washing machines, dryers, laundry baskets, hoses, a generator and water tanks. But according to Orange Sky co-founder, Nic Marchesi, the most important equipment is the six orange chairs that are set up next to each van. In the hour that it takes to do the laundry, volunteers and clients sit down and have positive, non-judgemental and sincere conversations, fostering genuine connection.
Orange Sky volunteers and clients chatting while they wait for the laundry. Source: @orangeskyau instagram.
In Canberra, Orange Sky has facilitated nearly 12,000 hours of conversation and over 6,000 loads of washing since it began in 2016.