Australia's only mobile laundry service for the homeless has arrived in Melbourne thanks to a $30,000 Jetstar Flying Start grant.
Founded last year by 20-year-old best mates Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi, the service aims to restore respect, raise health standards and reduce the strain on resources for Australia's 105,000 homeless men and women. First launched with services in Queensland, it uses custom-built vans fitted with industrial washers to visit local parks and drop in centres.
Orange Sky Laundry now has its sights set on operating a national fleet with Melbourne the first step towards an Australia wide operation. The Melbourne venture has been made possible with Jetstar's Flying Start grant made up of $15,000 in cash and $15,000 worth of flights.
Orange Sky Laundry Co-Founder, Nicholas Marchesi said the expansion into Melbourne is a major achievement for the young charity.
'We couldn't be more excited about receiving the Jetstar Flying Start grant and being able to start up in Melbourne. We've only been operational for eight months but the response from volunteers and the public so far has been amazing," Mr Marchesi said.
'Clean clothes and the chance to have a chat with a member of the community are simple pleasures that most of us take for granted. We've seen first-hand just how valuable our service is to those living on the streets in Queensland and we can't wait to provide the same help in Melbourne," he said.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Officer David Hall, who was part of the judging panel which awarded Orange Sky Laundry the grant, was impressed with the organisation's unique set up.
'At Jetstar we're always looking for innovative ways on delivering our services and we were deeply impressed by Orange Sky Laundry unique approach to this important social issue" Mr Hall said.
'The flight component of the grant has been used to facilitate research for Melbourne and future locations. We're pleased to see this first step come to fruition and can't wait to watch this inspirational organisation grow," he said.
About Jetstar's Flying Start Grants
Each quarterly grant is worth $30,000, comprising:
$15,000 worth of travel with Jetstar anywhere on the Jetstar network; and
Promotion of the community group or organisation on Jetstar's website and Facebook page.
Who can apply?
Entry is open to Australian based not-for-profit community groups and organisations of any size, who are seeking funding to help enhance the lives of people in their local community and can be classified into one of the following categories:
Sporting group or organisation; or
Arts group or organisation.
The community group or organisation should have a specific project in mind for how the grant will be used to benefit their local community.
How grants are awarded
Entries are reviewed by a judging panel that includes:
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall;
Jetstar management pilot Jeremy Schmidt;
Austereo's Fox FM radio host Jules Lund;
Television host Gorgi Coghlan; and
A Jetstar team member in each relevant state or territory.
About Orange Sky Laundry
Founded in September 2014 by friends Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi, Orange Sky Laundry is a free mobile laundry service for the homeless and the only one of its kind in Australia. Currently with two vans in operation in Brisbane and Cairns, the operation is run by young volunteers aged 18 - 35 who take the vans to locations at drop in centres and parks to wash clothes and hand out donation packs to those in need.
The service aims to restore respect, raise health standards and reduce the strain on resources for Australia's 105,000 homeless men and women. Using custom-built vans fitted with industrial washers, the service currently operates in Brisbane and Cairns, but now has its sights set on operating a national fleet.
Applications for the next Flying Start grant are now open to not-for-profit community groups in Victoria and Tasmania. Applications for the next grant round close on 30 September. Full details are available at http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/flyingstart
To become a volunteer in Melbourne, donate or to find out more about Orange Sky Laundry, visit www.orangeskylaundry.com.au