The Power in You Project, Kane.

“I’ll always put myself out there if it creates hope” says Kane Nuttall, Founder of ‘The Power in You Project’ PIYP. Kane willingly channels his personal pain, from past addiction and mental health challenges, and uses this lived experience to support others who are trapped in the cycle of despair.

Power in You Project, Kane Nuttall (002)

Home, for the program, is 44 Little Fyans St, South Geelong, which was generously donated for renovations by Tony and Christine Alsop.

From humble beginnings, with one client and no experience in funding applications, Kane’s driving force has always been that everyone deserves a chance. His great mentors over the past four years include Scott Austin, Professor Joe Graffam, Vlado Baban, Dennis O’Brien, Tom O’Connor, and more recently Rob Brown. It is these people and many others who have helped Kane accomplish his dream.

The dream has been further realised with a refurbished building they have moved into recently. The new facilities have laundry and shower facilities, a kitchen/dining area, offices and a conference room. Stage Two, will consist of rooms for yoga and art therapy, and an Information Technology room.

The Mission Statement for “The Power In You” speaks to inspiring and empowering people affected by alcohol and other drugs, to achieve lasting change in their lives. Kane Nuttall personifies such enormous change.

Growing up, surrounded by a very supportive family, Kane was involved in lots of sport. His parents, Jenny and Rob Nuttall, have always covered him in unconditional love. Kane’s regret and grief for the pain he has inadvertently caused his parents and others who cared for him, is palpable.

At fourteen years of age Kane developed severe acne and was placed on a prescription drug which was the catalyst for severe depression. Not wanting to be “stuck with his thoughts”, he began a trajectory of parties and drugs, preferring to “be with ten people on the gear, then feeling so empty, hollow and alone”.  The following years for Kane blur into each other, involving a suicide attempt, deaths of friends, an attempt on his life for unpaid drug debts and multiple endeavours to quit.

Such can be the challenging ‘dance of addiction’, Kane continually found himself “falling off the wagon”, even after being drug free for a six-month period. Still desperate to fit in and experience a sense of belonging, Kane believes “you become who you need to be, to fit in”.  Kane obviously regrets the pain he has caused others, as he sank into the abyss of addiction, but he does not regret the pain-filled experiences that have made him who he is today. “It’s not about the mistakes you have made, but how you go about fixing them, that shows true character.” Kane passionately believes his, “life experiences have led him to find his life’s path and purpose”.

PIYP’s Vision Statement is, “To assist people with alcohol and other drug issues, through support-based services including health, support groups, community programs, education and employment pathways.”

The program is unique in offering an immediate start for anyone eighteen years and over, after an initial consultation. From personal experience, Kane ardently believes it is of paramount importance to ‘grab the opportunity’, whenever a person is seeking help.  Drug free, Kane applied to do a dual certificate in mental health, alcohol and other drugs. Albeit the course was already three weeks in, the program facilitator accepted his application to begin immediately. Kane cites this opportunity, together with a complete stranger telling him “to pull his head in and get off drugs” as the catalyst for stopping all drugs on May 5Th, 2015 and remaining drug free since.

“The Power In You Project” is developed to build self-confidence, change negative self-talk and create direction for the future. Holistic in approach, employing fitness programs, structured leisure activities; group, individual and peer support groups, participants are encouraged to sign up for eight-week blocks to encourage routine and accountability. The program is open ended built on the premise that there shouldn’t be time limits put on people’s recoveries. This approach allows the participants to continue at their own pace, building their personal self-development with the opportunity to be mentored. The Service Style might not suit everyone, but it allows for ‘option and choice’.  Throughout the program participants have the opportunity to engage in mediation with family and community, explore relapse plans and referrals, vocational training and study options. The ultimate goal is renewed self-belief and community engagement.

Kane believes “your vibe attracts your tribe”, so it is no surprise that he’s surrounded by authentic, compassionate and positive people, none more so than his beautiful, loyal partner Nat, her son Emilio and their baby girl Ivy, as well as Kane’s faithful canine Jinx.

Every morning Kane welcomes the day with focused gratitude. “I know what it feels like to be lonely, so I want every individual to experience a sense of belonging”.

We too can be grateful, that we have someone of the calibre, compassion, energy and experience of Kane Nuttall, working with some of our most vulnerable humans in Geelong.

Story: Jacinta Foster-Raimondo Photos: supplied