A 24-hour crisis support group that provides a compassionate ear is marking a significant milestone.
Lifeline Sunshine Coast is celebrating 40 years of being part of the community, this month.
Lifeline Queensland was launched on the Sunshine Coast on August 1, 1982, with a warehouse in Maroochydore and a telephone counselling centre.
It now comprises 13 retail shops, community recovery, crisis support services and corporate training.
Lifeline Sunshine Coast Service Lead, Pam Murphy, said there were many people who played a part in the ongoing growth of Lifeline’s services here on the Sunshine Coast.
“The commitment and dedication of our volunteers who give so much to ensure Lifeline can be here for every person who needs someone to talk to is incredible,” she said.
“Our volunteers are the backbone of our Lifeline services.”
Ms Murphy said Lifeline continued to make a positive impact on the local community.
“Here on the Sunshine Coast, we have trained locals to be fully qualified crisis supporters for 40 years now, which directly helps our community in so many ways,” she said.
“Our nationally accredited crisis supporters offer hope to people in their darkest moments, and I want to thank every volunteer who has donated their time to Lifeline Sunshine Coast.
“Our team are really entrenched in the Sunshine Coast community, regularly participating in local events so people know they can reach out to Lifeline for support whenever they are in need.”
While the Sunshine Coast Crisis Call Centre is now part of the national Lifeline network, fielding calls from across Australia; it originated by just focusing on the Sunshine Coast community.
Diana Thomson, has been a volunteer at Lifeline Sunshine Coast as a Crisis Supporter since 2006, and explained that a lot has changed since her first shift on the phones.
“When I first started we did a lot of the work manually on paper,” she said.
“Now with the new technology, I’ve started doing the calls remotely. It’s incredible that the technology can deliver somebody’s voice to my earphones on my computer at home from anywhere in Australia.”
Reflecting on more than 15 years of service with Lifeline, Ms Thomson said she felt blessed to be able to provide a listening ear to those in need.
“When you get those calls where you really connect with the person and you feel at the end of the call that you might have helped them make a positive shift in some way—that’s very rewarding,” she said.
“That’s the gift that we give the callers. We really connect with them, and provide a listening ear and that is so important given so many people are experiencing loneliness.”
Lifeline Sunshine Coast will mark its 40th Anniversary on Thursday, August 25 at the Maroochydore RSL.
The morning event will include a morning tea and a fashion parade from the local Lifeline retail store, providing guests and past and present volunteers time to come together and reflect on the difference the volunteers have made and continue to make to the Sunshine Coast community and beyond.
In addition, all 13 Lifeline shops across the Sunshine Coast will hold in-store managers specials throughout August.
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UnitingCare Queensland delivers Lifeline’s 24-hour Crisis Support services through phone, text and chat, providing suicide prevention services with a non-judgmental and compassionate listening ear.
It also provides Lifeline’s disaster recovery program, Community Recovery, and individual and group support services.
All proceeds from the Lifeline Shops and Bookfest events across the state keep Queensland’s 13 11 14 crisis line going.
The Sunshine Coast team is currently recruiting for additional crisis support volunteers. To find out more information on becoming a volunteer, go to Lifeline.