21 January 2020



Five years ago Shane Roberts was running his own mowing business.

But when he was diagnosed with a debilitating spinal disease which impacted the discs in his back he was forced to give up work.

As the condition worsened so did the impact on his body, leaving him with seven destroyed discs.

Eager to keep working Shane told the Daily Mercury in Mackay how employers laughed at him when he tried to find suitable outdoor jobs.

"After a few years of people laughing in my face it definitely takes a toll on you. In the end it got to a point where I wasn't coping,” he said.

It was when Shane came to APM in Cape Palmerston that things started to change.

Becoming a participant in APM’s Disability Employment Services, Shane was given support to keep searching for work and manage his health condition.

After three months he was offered a job at Cape Palmerston Holiday Park as a groundskeeper.

That was 18 months ago and since then he has noticed major changes in his health and wellbeing.

"It has given me my confidence back and my total wellbeing is a hell of a lot better. Don't give up. It's always hard and it does get you down but there's always light at the end of the tunnel." 

  • If you’re living with an injury, illness or disability and want to work, register your details with us.
  • If you’re an employer looking to find reliable staff and make a real difference in a person’s life, contact our APM Employment Services team.
 
From the Daily Mercury..

Finding work after spine injury 

DISCOVERING a debilitating spinal disease triggered a chain of harrowing events for Shane Roberts.

Five years ago he ran his own mowing business, but his diagnosis with multi-level disc disease forced him out of the industry.

He has seven destroyed discs in his spine and for two years he struggled just to walk.

Mr Roberts attempted to find work that suited his changing physical needs.

Potential employers would laugh him out the door.

"Doing nothing from someone who had his own business took a big toll on my confidence and the basic drive, I just had none," Mr Roberts said.

"After a few years of people laughing in my face it definitely takes a toll on you. In the end it got to a point where I wasn't coping."

Mr Roberts's inability to secure employment also had an effect on his seven-year-old son, Chayse.

But when he moved from Bundaberg to Cape Palmerston last year, and linked up with disability support service APM, life took a positive turn.

Three months later, with the support of his case manager Vicky Heck, Mr Roberts secured employment with Cape Palmerston Holiday Park as a groundsman.

Since that day in June 2018 he has lost 20kg and had an uptake in morale.

"It has given me my confidence back and my total wellbeing is a hell of a lot better. Don't give up. It's always hard and it does get you down but there's always light at the end of the tunnel."
 

Author

Corey Stephenson

For media enquiries, please contact

adrian.bradley@apm.net.au

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