Al McCabe has developed a strong friendship with volunteer carer William Price.
Al McCabe has developed a strong friendship with volunteer carer William Price. CR8STUDIOS

A need for care on the Coffs Coast

AL MCCABE and William Price have formed a strong bond of mateship that's built on care.

Al, a well-known local rugby identity and former banana farmer has relied on the help of William and a team of carers for almost a decade since an injury on the football paddock made him a quadriplegic.

He is helped to perform the simplest of tasks, which many of us take for granted, in two to three shifts a day performed by his paid carers.  

His physical care is at the high end of the spectrum as simple abrasions to his body, which he cannot feel could lead to life threatening infections.

"The main qualities I look for in a carer are being able to listen and to have empathy," Al said.

"They don't need to understand what I'm going through, but they need to have a passion to understand."

Al is also assisted by unpaid volunteer carers who support him with exercise and to lead an active life with his family.

Thankful for his daily support, he is helping CHESS Employment to recruit and engage more qualified and unqualified carers for several positions in Bellingen and Dorrigo.

CHESS Employment says it views jobseeker's qualifications for home carer positions as a waste of time, unless they have genuine empathy and a desire to do meaningful work making a difference in the lives of others.

As a disability employment service, CHESS Employment supports jobseekers as they recover from injury, breakdowns and other health issues to find suitable work.

"Someone who has had an injury beforehand, or who has a relation or even a parent who has a problem - they're the ones who have an aptitude as a carer," Al said.

"I can't work with the ones who think they know everything. Every client is different, so every time they go into a new house they should go in with a blank book," he said.

To find out more about the home care positions call CHESS Employment Bellingen on 6655 2113.

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