45-year-old Wayne, a client of Open Minds for the past 13 years, has accomplished one of his greatest goals of gaining employment.
Landing a job packaging beverages has allowed Wayne to take control of his life, pay his own bills, and have money to spend on activities he enjoys.
Wayne loves watching movies, and was delighted to be able to use his earnings to buy a new DVD player.
Next, he intends to subscribe to a streaming service, to allow him even more variety in his entertainment options.
Wayne’s Support team couldn’t be happier with how well he’s taken to the job, having recommended he apply for the vacancy in the first instance, and having helped him prepare for the interview.
Jared, Care Leader at Open Minds, said that he has observed Wayne’s independence grow.
“We are all very proud of Wayne for feeling brave and supported enough to apply for the job, and even more so in seeing how well he’s doing in the role.”
Wayne explained that a big part of working was the social aspect, being able to make new friends at work, “everyone is so helpful to me and always shows me how things work” Wayne said.
“Previously I barely knew anyone other than my brothers and my Support Workers. Now I have loads of work friends as I met a bunch of people through work.”
The only downside about his job, is that when he first started he found his shoulders were sore from using his arms so much, but he’s become stronger and no longer experiences any soreness.
“It keeps my mind occupied and my concentration levels are razor focused. It also keeps me healthy and fit.” Wayne added.
The job came during a difficult time for Wayne, with his mother sadly passing away earlier this year.
Her final wishes for him were to keep the family home and to stick with Open Minds.
She was also very supportive of him gaining independence, and this helped inspire him to get the job.
One of his Support Workers, Adam, said that Wayne’s job had given him fresh drive, ”he’s often talking about preparing for important things and looking ahead.”
“Creating independence for customers is one of our goals and we are all so proud of Wayne and his family.” Adam added.
Wayne receives Community Access support from Open Minds three times per week.
When out with his Support Workers, Wayne loves going to flea markets and motorcar racing, but just like every Aussie, he loves a good barbeque.
He is also an avid camper, recently returning from a trip with his brothers, though next time he intends to bring marshmallows for the campfire.
Rob, Wayne’s brother, currently provides him with a lift to work, but his next goal is to buy a push bike with his earnings to ride to the nearby train station.