Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland puts out call for volunteers
Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland is in desperate need of more volunteer counsellors to meet the growing demand of people in crisis.
The telephone counselling service answers more than 25,000 calls a year but is sending an SOS in the belief that residents of the Sutherland Shire will respond with the goodwill they have shown in the past.
Volunteer sees the need
Woronora resident and Lifeline telephone counsellor Michele King is marking eight years as a volunteer and said there is a clear need for volunteer counsellors to assist other local residents through difficult times.
“You don’t have to have answers but be open to the lives and difficulties of other people which may be very different from your own,” Michele said.
Sixty-eight year old Michele was a school principal and first volunteered as a way to stay connected to the community once she retired. She said she developed good communication skills across her career and wanted to use those skills to help others.
“It’s a very satisfying way to give back,” she said. “You are someone on the end of the line that is willing to hear the stories of callers and at the end of the call people are very grateful.”
CEO sends out the call
The CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev Dr Keith Garner said that this vital service was reliant on members of the community stepping forward with their time and skills.
“There is no doubt that this service saves lives in the local area,” he said. “We would ask people to consider the real difference that may make in the lives of people in crises.”
Lifeline, created by Wesley Mission, celebrated its 50 year anniversary in 2013. Wesley Suicide Prevention Services continues to operate Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland. Lifeline’s telephone crisis support and suicide prevention service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the cost of a local call (mobile phone calls are free of charge).
To find out more about volunteering for Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland or to register for training please call 1800 100 024.
Anyone in need of assistance can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.