|Nic Marchesi OAM & Lucas Patchett OAM
In October 2014, two best mates had a crazy idea to put two washing machines and two dryers in the back of a van, to wash and dry clothes for free. Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, awarded the 2016 Young Australians of the Year and recently the Order of Australia Medal, founded Orange Sky – a world-first, free mobile laundry and shower service for people experiencing homelessness.
On a mission to improve hygiene standards for the 116,000 people experiencing homelessness across Australia, Nic and Lucas stumbled on something much bigger and more significant – the power of a conversation.
Orange Sky now has 32 laundry and shower services operating across the country, delivering over 280 shifts across every state and territory through over 2000 volunteers each week. The focus is on creating a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or feel disconnected from the community.
Since 2014, Orange Sky has provided friends on the street with more than 1,200,000kg of free laundry, over 12,700 warm, safe showers, and close to 207,000 hours of genuine and non-judgemental conversation. In addition, Orange Sky recently won a Google Impact Challenge Grant to take its purpose built technology ‘Campfire’ and further build it to support the no-for-profit sector and improve the volunteer lifecycle. This product will support small and large charities across Australia to innovate, make data-driven decisions and harness technology for good.
Orange Sky, under the leadership of Nic and Lucas continue to strive everyday to find ways to positively connect communities and make an impact.