Chappy Angus loves being the school chaplain at Lee Street State Special School, where he is given the opportunity to connect with and bring encouragement into the lives of remarkable young people and their families.
It’s a job he feels honoured to have, and it’s easy to see why.
One Grade 11 student, Lily, became fast friends with Chappy Angus through their shared sense of humour and positive attitudes.
She is always ready to give something a try, and when she saw the advertisements for SU Australia’s 2020 SPLASHOUT Moreton Camp, she knew she wanted to go.
“We ended up having three students from Lee Street come along to SPLASHOUT, and Lily took to it like a fish to water.
“She can’t wait to go back again this year and bring some friends along,” says Chappy Angus.
“It was the first time we’ve ever had kids from Lee Street come along, which is a huge step forward.
“I’m hoping we can continue building these connections because all the young people had such a great time together.”
Lily has ADHD, Pierre-Robin sequence and hearing difficulties, but she doesn’t let these things put a dampener on her sunny attitude, and she enjoyed every moment of camp-life.
“It was my first time on camp and it was fun meeting everyone new. I liked going to new places and catching the buses. I was on Chappy Angus’ bus the whole time I was there and I get to go back again this year!” says Lily.
The inclusive nature of SPLASHOUT spills over into the work Chappy Angus does at Lee Street.
Community enriches our lives and even when things took a difficult turn for Lily and her family, Chappy’s support meant she had someone to turn to.
One day at school, Lily approached Chappy Angus during the break concerned about her mum.
She wasn’t feeling well, and Lily was worried about what could happen to her. Seeing that Lily was quite upset, Chappy Angus contacted mum to see how she was doing.
It turns out Lily’s mum had a melanoma – a type of skin cancer. They cut it out, but she’s still being watched closely.
The whole situation was really hard for Lily, but she was grateful that Chappy Angus was so understanding.
“When I went to school the next day still feeling upset, Chappy Angus said he had spoken to mum. He checked up on me everyday to make sure I was okay,” Lily recalls.
Although things were looking up for the family, it was only a month or so after this scare that camp was set to begin.
When Angus took some time to visit with the family, Lily’s Mum encouraged her daughter to go – knowing she would love it.
“Lily’s Mum was really keen for her to go on camp, and we’re so glad she was able to come. Parents with special needs children sometimes aren’t sure how far to let them go, and Lily’s parents have been brilliant.
“They encourage her to give everything a go and she gets really involved. We really saw her spark come to life at camp,” says Chappy Angus.
As you know, Lily’s is just one of the many stories of hope that your support is making possible through our chaplaincy and camping ministries. Thank you.