John Cramp
John Cramp

Dad's desperate plea

LIKE any other father, John Cramp just wants to provide a decent life for his family.

After losing his wife to a brain tumour, Mr Cramp has moved to the Gold Coast to start a new life with 16-year-old daughter Stephanie.

But it has been a tough slog for the pair, who can't find accommodation and Mr Cramp unable to secure steady work.

So this week, they took their plight to the streets, with Mr Cramp standing on the Gold Coast Highway at Bilinga with a large sign saying: “Work wanted. Anywhere, anytime, 7 days a week” and his phone number.

“As you can see, I'm pretty desperate,” Mr Cramp told the Tweed Daily News yesterday.

“We've been out here for the past few days.

“We've been sleeping in our trailer and are just looking for somewhere dry to stay.

“This is my desperate need to support my daughter.”

It is a heartbreaking story, and one Mr Cramp hopes will not go unnoticed.

The determined dad says he can move furniture and remove rubbish or he can do labouring work and odd jobs.

“I had a rubbish removal business down in Wollongong and now we've come up here to try and make ends meet,” he said.

“I'm a hard worker. I'm 49 and I've worked all my life.

“I usually have a big trailer with me full of equipment, but we've been out in the rain so all our stuff got wet. We are waiting for it to dry out.”

In such a tough economic climate, it is not the first time someone has used signage on a busy highway to beg for work.

Last month, two young tradesmen were seen sitting at a Tugun intersection during peak hour.

They used messages scrawled on their surfboards to plead for work, and they were both later hired as gardeners.

The two men, from Wales, said they had taken inspiration from a friend who had advertised himself on a sandwich board.

For Mr Cramp, however, it was his daughter that inspired him to get out on the roadside with the huge red and white sign.

But so far, only one person has stopped to talk to him and asked him for a quote.

“I'm out here doing this and I mean it,” he said. “If anyone can help us, ring me up please.”

Mr Cramp knows it is a dire situation he is in and that's why he has taken to pleading for work.

That, paired with the pain of losing his wife, made him break down as he spoke yesterday.

“We need to eat and we need to find a place to live,” he said. “Even if anyone has an old shed they want to rent out to us, we'd be very appreciative.

“We've been up here four weeks and I'd love to get work on the Gold Coast. I'm sure once we find work and some accommodation it will be a fantastic place to make a new life.”

Mr Cramp knows the most important thing is that he and his daughter are together.

“It's been a bit hard, but we'll get through,” he said.

Anyone with work or accommodation to offer Mr Cramp should call 0448 928 149.

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