Orange Sky brings mobile laundry and shower to Wellington

orange sky

A small crowd gathered, Wednesday, outside the City Mission, Newtown, to welcome the first Orange Sky van to Wellington.

The custom-built-van is fitted with a shower, two washing machines and a clothes dryer, and open to use for anyone living without these necessities.

Kris F’afoi, the associate minister for housing, and local member of parliament Paul Eagle were among those attending.

The Mayor Hutt City Ray Wallace represented Wellington’s mayors.

Wellington City Missioner Murray Edridge explained some of the history of Orange Sky.

The van was then blessed, and some refreshments were provided.

The Orange Sky charity has 29 vans operating in Australia and is almost a year into its operations in New Zealand.

Since launching in Auckland, Orange Sky has washed more than 18 tonnes of laundry and provided 1900 showers.

Co-founder Lucas Patchett said they were considering expansion plans to Christchurch and other parts of the country.

He said the charity has snowballed into something much bigger than he could ever have imagined since the first wash on the streets of Brisbane in 2014.

“It’s a basic human right to feel clean and to feel connected”, he said.

Patchett and his best mate Nic Marchesi built the first free mobile laundry in their old van to help the homeless.

In 2016 they were awarded joint Young Australians of the Year for their social entrepreneurship.

Marchesi describes himself and Patchett as “two normal everyday blokes who had a crazy idea”.

They had previously volunteered at food vans and other outreach programs while still at school and had a passion for helping the homeless.


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