Residents of The Clayfield retirement village have stepped up to support disadvantaged young members of the community, ensuring they have access to clean clothes.
For the past few weeks on a Tuesday, a laundry van from the charity, Orange Sky, has arrived at the Aveo retirement village on Sandgate Road, Albion, bringing loads of dirty clothes and towels collected from a Brisbane school.
The Clayfield’s residents help wash the laundry and provide company and conversation for Orange Sky’s rostered volunteers while they carry out their shifts.
The Clayfield’s Sales Manager Amanda Adams said she was keen to involve the village’s residents in the work of Orange Sky after the not-for-profit group supported her by washing her belongings after her home was inundated by floods in 2022.
“It is an organisation close to my heart and I knew the residents would be keen to help,’’ Amanda says. “Orange Sky is so busy at the moment with their services in demand across the community.
“Not only do our residents assist with the laundry but they chat to Orange Sky’s volunteers. The conversations make for a more enjoyable day for the volunteers who might otherwise be standing around between wash loads at the depot.
The four-week trial at The Clayfield is an experiment by Orange Sky who are looking at how the program might be implemented at other retirement living communities.
Orange Sky’s Senior Venture Manager, Shayne Herriott, is excited about the possibilities for the trial to grow.
“We are really pleased with the positive reaction to the experiment. It is a super interesting way for us to help people who are doing it tough while also creating new volunteering opportunities for residents living in villages like The Clayfield,’’ Shayne says.
Orange Sky was created nine years ago by young Brisbane friends Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett. There are now 37 services in 26 locations across Australia, washing 1.9 million kilograms of clothing, providing 20,000 showers and 330,000 hours of genuine conversation annually.
More than 2,000 volunteers operate mobile laundries and showers every week to the homeless and vulnerable.
Amanda hopes the trial program will eventually expand to other Aveo communities.
“This Orange Sky project at The Clayfield is allowing children to attend school with the dignity of having clean clothes,’’ Amanda says.
“The residents have loved their involvement. One of our residents has already become more involved in Orange Sky and now proudly wears his orange T-shirt when he travels out to schools to collect clothes for washing.
“A tour for residents of Orange Sky’s headquarters at nearby Albion is planned because they are so keen to find out more about how it operates.’’
The Clayfield, at 469 Sandgate Road, Albion, offers a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. For information about the village, phone 13 28 36 or visit aveo.com.au.
If you are interested in volunteering with Orange Sky, go to orangesky.org.au/volunteer