Help­ing oth­ers re­ward­ing for Shane

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Vol­un­teers are the largely un­sung heroes in our com­mu­nity. In the first of a se­ries of pro­files on vol­un­teers

‘‘There’s an over­whelm­ing num­ber of kind peo­ple in Nelson,’’ Shane Tor­rance, one of Nelson’s kind­est peo­ple, be­lieves.

He is a vol­un­teer for Pres­by­te­rian Sup­port, a non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that works with com­mu­ni­ties to pro­vide sup­port for a va­ri­ety of peo­ple, but es­pe­cially the el­derly.

Shane spends his days with el­derly men and women, many suf­fer­ing from mem­ory disor­ders or so­cial iso­la­tion.

He helps col­lect at­ten­dees from their homes and brings them to pro­gramme ac­tiv­i­ties, where they are part of a com­mu­nity.

He knows what it’s like to feel that you might lose your in­de­pen­dence, hav­ing lost both of his legs and his sight due to com­pli­ca­tions from di­a­betes.

De­spite this, he lives alone, com­pletely in­de­pen­dently.

Shane vol­un­teers as a way not only to main­tain his own in­de­pen­dence, but to help oth­ers who may be strug­gling with theirs.

He has been vol­un­teer­ing for over four years, and in that time, has de­vel­oped an ex­ten­sive net­work and made many friends. When he started, he was just look­ing for some­thing to do.

‘‘You’ll never put in as much as you get back,’’ he said, de­scrib­ing the ben­e­fits of vol­un­teer­ing.

‘‘Just do it. Ev­ery­one who you help needs it more than you, but you get back two times what you put in.’’

As he makes cups of tea and cof­fee for the dozens of el­derly peo­ple tak­ing part in the En­liven pro­gram, Shane is in his el­e­ment.

He de­scribed the strug­gle to earn the trust of the men and women in the pro­gramme be­cause of his tat­toos and uni­form of heavy metal t-shirts.

Some of the women would not even al­low him to hold their purse as he as­sisted them in and out of the shut­tle bus. Now he is clearly more than a vol­un­teer, he is also a friend.

Shane’s con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity was recog­nised at a re­cent event by Pres­by­te­rian Sup­port and Vol­un­teer Nelson, in which he was pre­sented with a Cer­tifi­cate of Ap­pre­ci­a­tion and a gift voucher from a su­per­mar­ket.

Shane Tor­rance was pre­sented with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion by Pres­by­te­rian Sup­port mem­ber Belinda Harte.

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