Lifeline South Coast Volunters Recognised

17 May 2012

Lifeline South Coast will today close its shops and warehouse so that all volunteers have the opportunity to attend a recognition celebration in Shellharbour. Over 170 volunteers from both Nowra and Wollongong will attend some receiving accreditation and long service awards.

Grahame Gould, Executive Director, Lifeline South Coast says volunteers within Lifeline South Coast play a vital role in our community.

“About 90% of Lifeline South Coast is made up of volunteers. Currently we have over 300 fabulous volunteers working in a range of roles,” he said.

“We have volunteers trained to take calls on our telephone crisis support line, some who pick up and sort the many donations we receive from the community, others who sort through thousands of books for our Big Book Fair and some who contribute to selling over 200,000 items a year through the Lifeline Shops.”

One volunteer who will be recognised today is Wendy (surname withheld due to anonymity of Telephone Crisis Supporters). Wendy will be receiving a long service certificate for 15 years of service to Lifeline South Coast.

Wendy was looking for a volunteering opportunity in 1997 after her children had grown up, and her sister encouraged her to consider Lifeline. She completed her training that year and has been with the organisation ever since.

Wendy comments “I enjoy talking with people on the phone and feel it is a privilege to be there for people during their time of crisis. I have learnt so much during my time with Lifeline and really enjoy working with such an amazing group of people."

Six other remarkable volunteers are set to be recognised for more than 10 years of volunteer service to the organisation. They include Val Richardson, who has contributed her time to work in the Unanderra Shop for 25 years; Janet Ralph, a warehouse volunteer for 10 years; Colleen Pye, who has served customers in the Auburn St Shop for 10 years; Ann Hansom and Helen Mercer who both receive 10 year long service certificates as a volunteer in the Kiama Shop; and a Volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter who has contributed enormously to the telephone crisis service not only as a Telephone Crisis Supporter but in a range of other roles also.

Lifeline South Coast’s telephone crisis support service responds to 14,000 calls a year in the Illawarra and South Coast and covers the coastal area from Helensburgh to the Victorian border. Lifeline’s 24-hour telephone crisis support number is 13 11 14.

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Clare Leslie
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