Lifeline carries on little piece of history
ANSWERING calls from some of Australia's most desperate people is a tough job, even more so when you're not getting paid for it.
At the Maroochydore Lifeline centre, a stained glass symbol of hope and life has always hung somewhere visible, so volunteers can be reminded of the vital services they provide each time they walk in.
This colourful window, crafted by regional glass artist Normal Birrell, has moved with the centre for every relocation since it was originally gifted to Lifeline in 1987, and was officially unveiled at the new facility on November 10.
Lifeline service coordinator on the Coast Susan Griffiths said the window helped volunteers connect with the organisation's history.
"It's part of our history, and in a way, helps us feel like we're carrying on the baton,” she said.
Maintaining support and training for the centre's 90 crisis support phone workers is a passion for Ms Griffiths, as they take about 1300 calls from vulnerable Coast residents each month.
She said her goal at Lifeline was to lower the region's suicide rate by reminding the community that "someone who cares is on call 24 hours a day”.
"We are higher than the national average and I think we as a community can do something about that,” she said.
"We've got training [to become a crisis support officer] coming up in February, so if people are interesting in contributing to their communities, they can look it up on our website or phone 54565484 to sign up.”
Lifeline was founded in 1963, and took its first call one minute after phone lines opened.
To date, the phones haven't stopped ringing.