What We Do

Spare Keys finds tourism and technology resources that would otherwise be going to waste and uses them to help solve the issues facing our most vulnerable people. In a nutshell, we:

  • Work with accommodation providers and crisis care referrers to make spare keys available to people who’ve met with unexpected financial hardship and need a roof over their head;
  • Find people and corporations getting rid of perfectly good computers at the end of their asset lifecycle and provide them to women’s shelters and others in need;
  • Provide circuit-breaking experiences to those experiencing trauma and customers to struggling tourism businesses.

Providing Devices

LAPTOP COMPUTERS: For security reasons, most womens’ refuges ban guests from bringing their own phones. Spare Keys sources and purchases computers for use as loan devices in womens’ shelters, allowing women to arrange rental accommodation, continue their work, organise new bank accounts, and begin their life anew. The computers also help children continue their schooling and ensure they don’t fall further behind their peers.

TABLET DEVICES: Many schools now require children to have tablets to complete their school work. Kids going through traumatic times also need respite in the familiar, and there is tremendous benefit in providing access to their favourite TV program, movie, or game, while the world around them is in chaos. We provide refurbished iPad and Android devices to womens’ refuges for children to use for school work, educational games and entertainment purposes.

PRINTERS: We furnish womens’ refuges with cost-efficient printers, giving women and children escaping violence and disasters the ability to print paperwork, school work, and colouring-in pages.

COMPUTER HEADSETS: Help provide privacy for women in refuges who need to conduct video conference meetings and phone calls. When they’re finished, the kids can then complete their school work (and catch up on Bluey episodes to bring a little joy to their lives, and keep their routine) without their mothers, or other guests, having to listen in.

Providing Circuit-breaker experiences

Victims of domestic violence and natural disasters need emotional pain-relief as much as they need physical and financial support, yet opportunities for families to ‘take a break’ are a critical and largely un-funded part of the healing process. Our ‘circuit breaker’ experiences interrupt stress-induced responses to trauma by providing access to activities that are focused on mental wellbeing and togetherness, and provide both mental and physical respite from crisis situations.

We focus on providing trauma victims with family, animal and nature-based leisure activities that provide a therapeutic break from crisis situations and help develop self-efficacy. Connection with nature improves focus, attention and memory — three areas directly impacted by trauma in children — while animal-assisted therapy is one of the most well-documented treatments in trauma research.

Not only do the experiences we provide support women and children in need, they also create a valuable revenue source for Queensland’s struggling tourism industry. We prioritise the purchase of activities from tourism and leisure economy businesses that are also suffering in a post pandemic environment.

Providing Accommodation

Spare Keys acts as a bridge between hotels and individuals who have empty rooms, and emergency and temporary accommodation providers who find rooms for the homeless, victims of domestic violence, families staying away from home whilst their loved ones receive hospital treatment, and other people for whom booking a room at a hotel or on AirBnB is not an option due to cost, or some other form of disadvantage.

How you can help

Visit our donations page

If you need help

If you’d like to access our services, please contact us (please note that we don’t provide rooms directly to the public). If you need emergency accommodation, please check out our ‘find a room’ page.