Australia’s largest rail freight company, Aurizon has announced a new three-year partnership with national charity, Orange Sky Australia.
Orange Sky offers free laundry and shower services via more than thirty mobile vans across Australia for people experiencing homelessness, while providing a safe environment to connect with the community.
The Charity was founded in 2014 by two young Brisbane mates – Lucas Patchett and Nic Marchesi, who saw an opportunity to help improve hygiene standards and restore dignity to people doing it tough on the streets. From just one home-made van, they now offer services in locations across Australia and New Zealand.
Aurizon’s Managing Director & CEO, Andrew Harding said Aurizon was proud to be supporting such a worthwhile charity working in local communities. By providing clean laundry and warm showers and connecting people through conversations, Orange Sky is making a positive difference for the 1 in 200 people estimated to be homeless in our communities.
“In recent weeks, I have been fortunate to spend time with the founders of Orange Sky and I have seen the positive impact their services and volunteers are making to the lives of those who are living on the street,” Andrew said.
“Aurizon has a national footprint with more than 80% of our employees and their families living in regional communities of Australia. We operate in many locations where Orange Sky provides services and share a common commitment to playing a positive and supportive role in these local communities.
“We understand that local communities work best at the grassroots level when delivering support and services to those in need.That’s why Aurizon has jumped onboard with Orange Sky and we’re looking forward to supporting them in continuing this important work.”
Aurizon is providing funding to Orange Sky, together with volunteering opportunities for employees who live and work in local communities where Orange Sky provides services.
Orange Sky founder Lucas Patchett welcomed Aurizon’s support: “Partnerships across the community are so important to our success, so we're really excited to welcome Aurizon to the Orange Sky family. Conversations are as essential as our washing machines, supporting the mental health and connection of our friends and volunteers. We’re pumped to create a huge impact together,” Lucas said.
Through a separate initiative - the Aurizon Community Giving Fund – Aurizon has provided funding grants of up to $20,000 to more than 400 charities and not-for-profit organisations across Australia over the past 10 years. The grants assist a range of grassroots community initiatives, reaching out to those locally who need it the most and are delivering meaningful projects in regional communities.
Video footage of this announcement including Lucas Patchett and Andrew Harding can be found here.