Sydney Water supports Orange Sky Australia to help homeless in Sydney’s west

Media release

11 June 2018

Orange Sky Australia, in partnership with Sydney Water, is launching a van in Western Sydney that will provide free laundry, showers and conversation to people doing it tough.

The aptly named van ‘Busby’ is the 26th vehicle in Orange Sky’s national fleet and only the fifth hybrid van to be built. It will offer a platform for genuine conversation through the provision of free mobile laundry and shower services.

The hybrid van has been fully funded by Sydney Water, along with three years of operational costs. Sydney Water staff have also committed their time by volunteering with the service.

Orange Sky co-founder Lucas Patchett said he was proud to be extending the organisation’s reach in to Western Sydney.

‘Since Orange Sky kicked off in October 2014, we have been continually blown away by the support we’ve received and how well the vans have been integrated into a range of communities. 

'We already have one laundry van and one shower van in Sydney, and we’re excited that our friends in the Western suburbs who are doing it tough will now have access to free laundry and showers.

‘Along with these services, Orange Sky volunteers will also provide the opportunity for people in need to connect.

‘Our six orange chairs provided for the use of our friends are the most important part of our service. It’s where our friends who attend our shifts can sit and build relationships with volunteers through genuine and non-judgmental conversations', he said.

’We can’t wait to see the impact that Busby will have on the community’.

Kevin Young, Managing Director at Sydney Water said, ‘Sydney Water is excited to be able to bring this service to Western Sydney. Our partnership with Orange Sky is closely aligned with our existing Customer Care programs and we will have the opportunity to work with existing partners in this space.

‘Our staff have also embraced the opportunity to support Orange Sky by volunteering to do shifts with the van’, said Mr Young.

Recent data from the 2016 census shows there are 116,000 people experiencing homelessness in Australia, an increase of 4.6% over the last five years.

Orange Sky volunteers do close to 6,000 kg of laundry each week and provide more than 1,200 hours of genuine and non-judgmental conversation.

The van ‘Busby’ is named after Busby’s Bore, Sydney’s second water source, and was chosen by Sydney Water customers in an online poll. 

To donate or volunteer, please visit Orange Sky.