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Orange Sky Laundry, a mobile laundry service that services Brisbane’s homeless community, was founded in 2014 by Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, both 21, to restore respect and raise health standards for the 300-odd people who sleep on Brisbane’s streets every night.

The mobile service has since expanded into different cities and has completed over 70,000 kilograms of washing and had 15,000 hours of conversations with Australia’s homeless community.

They “chucked two washing machines and two dryers in our old van” and got stuck into it, not realising until much later they had “stumbled on a world first”.

Young Australians of the Year for 2016 and Founders of Orange Sky Laundry, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett.

This year the two founders claimed the Young Australian of the Year title.

Staffed by 65 volunteers, their van appears daily in spots where homeless people already connect with services such as shelters, soup kitchens and Fremantle’s Street Doctor and washes up to 100 kilograms of clothes weekly.

The service is entirely volunteer-run. Each load costs about $6. To volunteer or donate visit the website.

Great initiative guys! Yours, Fran

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