When Will was first approached by homeless support service, Set Free, he was sleeping under a park bench in the rain and his life had pretty much hit rock bottom. The support service helped him with some food and temporary shelter and, true to his nature, Will paid this back by volunteering there.

This is where an Employment Consultant at BUSY Ability, Julie, who visits the homeless support service every Friday between 11am and 1pm, first met William. Julie and Will started talking and after quickly building a rapport, Will shared with her that his mental health concerns over the years had a major impact on his life and that he was estranged from his family and now homeless.

Will really wanted to get back on his feet, find financial independence and a home of his own so was seeking work (any work), although his dream job was to work with boats, a passion of his.

Julie got onto all the local employers she knew and quickly found him hospitality work as a Steward for the Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences. Will grabbed the opportunity with both hands and took whatever shifts he could do. BUSY Ability also supported him with Uber transport to get to work, until he bought his own electric scooter to travel to work. In the meantime, Set Free had also found him some share accommodation on the Gold Coast. With a home base and a newly found steady income, things were looking up!

Behind the scenes Julie was still working hard to find Will some work in the boating industry and after a two month vetting process, secured Will full-time work at Riviera in Coomera, a luxury yacht building company.

Proving his hard working ethic, Will at one point was working both jobs, finishing his job at Riviera at 3.30pm and then scootering from Coomera to Surfers Paradise to start his Hilton job – often working over 50 hours and seven days a week.

It was during this time also, Will reconciled with his estranged family and was then also given the opportunity by them to purchase his own boat, which is where he now lives, moored not far from his workplace at Riviera.

Deciding to let go of his job at the Hilton to focus on full time job at Riviera, Will is now living his dream of working with boats – and also living on one!

Will stated, “My employment consultant at BUSY Ability was wonderful and my life has turned around for the better thanks to her support. My immediate goals are to renovate my boat, which I do on the weekend, and to learn everything I can about the boating industry”.

Chief Executive Officer of BUSY Ability, Stacey Turnbull said, “Will is a perfect example of how quickly a person’s life can spiral out of control when battling mental health concerns. Thankfully the support from Set Free and BUSY Ability has enabled Will to fulfil his true potential, and to live comfortably. We look forward to supporting his ongoing career progress and we’re pretty sure he will go far in the industry with his hard working ethic and passion”.

Once homeless, Will is now living his dream of working with boats.


For more information on how BUSY Ability can assist people with a health, injury or disability into work visit www.busyability.org.au

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