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Shaune’s life-changing encounter

Norma and Peter had faith restored when their son Shaune had a life-changing connection with Wayne and Jan from Orana’s Port Pirie site.

Norma and Peter first met Wayne, Port Pirie’s Service Manager, just after Shaune had tried to take his own life after multiple attempts. Norma was given Wayne’s phone number by a lady she was talking to in the main street of Port Pirie after Shaune’s most recent attempt. She suggested Norma contact Wayne to see if he could help her with Shaune. Norma said, “This was the best phone call I have ever made. I was invited to come down to Balmoral House by Wayne and even though he could not promise anything, he would see what he could do.”  Norma stated, “Me being me someone who has lost all faith in people did not take Shaune with me to this meeting as he has been hurt too many times.”

After the meeting, Norma was very impressed with what Wayne had discussed, mentioning he’d like to meet with Shaune, although could not make any promises. That was the day that changed Shaune’s life forever.

Initially, Norma did not trust anyone with Shaune due to past experiences but agreed for Wayne to spend a couple of hours a week with Shaune. In their first catch-up, Shaune returned home with a smile on his face and was laughing. Shaune said, “He is great mum! Wayne treats me like Jason did.” Jason was Shaune’s brother who passed away in 2009. Shaune’s parents, Norma and Peter, mentioned, “Shaune has not laughed or smiled since 2009.”

Wayne and Shaune are like two peas in a pod when they are together, according to Norma. In Shaune’s words, “Wayne doesn’t treat me like a client he treats me like a mate.” Norma and Peter revealed, “you only have to mention Wayne’s name and Shaune smiles, his face lights up.” Wayne has assisted Shaune with various activities such as helping him build his model train table, build a fish pond, as well as making a vegetable garden bed. Currently, Shaune is enjoying building a bird aviary with Wayne, as he’s learning how to use different tools.

Soon after, Shaune was introduced to Jan, a Client Coach at Port Pirie, although initially he was a bit hesitant with the change. However, Jan took the time to teach him how to cook, do his washing and make his bed. Jan also takes him out and ensures that he enjoys himself. Shaune has given Jan the nickname, ‘Bossy Boots’. Jan and Wayne organise days where Shaune has the opportunity to mingle with the clients from Balmoral House. Sometimes Shaune goes there for dinner and brings dessert to share with the other guys.

With Wayne and Jan’s support, Shaune has successfully formed and maintained friendships with others. He has also started playing ten pin bowling for which he is proud to have received trophies. Shaune’s parents said, “Wayne has sacrificed his time for family and hobbies to ensure that clients of Orana are well looked after.”

Wayne and Jan even supported Norma and her family when she was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. According to Norma, they were both amazing and had really supported Shaune as he was afraid that he would lose his mother. Both Wayne and Jan continue to be very supportive of the family.

Norma and Peter said, “Wayne has been a huge support towards Shaune in many areas of his life” and “that meeting Wayne was better than winning the lottery”. Since then, Shaune has not talked about or attempted suicide. Shaune expressed, “how much I like Wayne” and “Wayne and Jan (‘Bossy Boots’) have made a difference in my life”.

On a final note, Norma said, “when you lose all trust in everybody, it is very hard to regain it. But since meeting Wayne, it gives me hope that hopefully one day I could regain trust with people in the community. The work that Wayne and Jan do, words cannot express the gratitude our family has for you and we thank you.”

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