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Orange Sky To Launch First Hawke’s Bay Service: Calls For Local Volunteers

Orange Sky Aotearoa, a non-profit organisation providing free mobile laundry services, warm showers and genuine conversation for people experiencing homelessness or hardship, is excited to announce the launch of its first service in Te Matau-a-Māui/Hawke’s Bay.

In collaboration with the Napier City Council and the Hastings City Council, the new service will officially commence operations in August and will be operated by a team of local volunteers to support whānau in Te Matau-a-Māui/Hawke’s Bay.

According to the 2018 Severe Housing Deprivation Report, 4.3% of those considered severely housing deprived across New Zealand reside in Hawke’s Bay. These figures highlight the need for support, which is further underscored by the impact of the severe weather events in 2023 that left more than 1,600 Napier homes unsafe for living, with 287 homes still unsafe today.

Orange Sky Aotearoa Senior Impact Manager Kat Doughty said the Orange Sky team identified Te Matau-a-Māui/Hawke’s Bay as a crucial community in need and are thrilled to bring the much-needed service to Napier and Hastings.

“Community consultation is an important part of our work at Orange Sky, and we know there is heightened demand for our support, particularly following the devastating floods which have had a lasting impact on the Hawke’s Bay community,” Doughty said.

“We know Kiwi’s are doing it really tough at the moment. With the rise in cost of living and housing affordability an increasing issue, we want to be there for those who need us most. We offer a simple yet impactful service and we are really excited to be welcomed into the Te Matau-a-Māui region.”

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Orange Sky will be hosting three Information Days, and is extending an invitation to locals interested in learning more about the support Orange Sky provides, the opportunity to volunteer, and to explore the mobile laundry van.

“Volunteers are integral to Orange Sky and are truly at the heart of our mahi. We look forward to welcoming Hawke’s Bay locals to our growing Orange Sky whānau.” Doughty said.

Since its launch in 2018, Orange Sky Aotearoa has grown to operate over 37 shifts each week across the motu, supported by a team of over 250 volunteers. Collectively, they have completed more than 21,100 loads of washing, provided more than 11,200 warm showers and engaged in more than 32,500 hours of conversation with the community.

Orange Sky’s newest laundry van, supported by Simplicity Foundation, Frimley Foundation Eastern and Central Community Trust, is equipped with two washing machines, two dryers, and six chairs for friends to sit and engage in genuine, non-judgemental conversation and connection with Orange Sky volunteers.

The van joins the existing Orange Sky fleet of two vans in Auckland, and one each in Hamilton, Wellington, Porirua and Christchurch, and one stationary laundry pod and indoor laundry service in Manukau, Auckland.

If you're a Te Matau-a-Māui/Hawke's Bay local and would like to support those in your community experiencing homelessness or hardship, head to orangesky.org.nz to lend a hand as a volunteer or make a donation – every little bit helps.

© Scoop Media

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