Lifeline South Coast has received a funding boost from the State Government.
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock joined with Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies last week to present director Rachel Norris with a grant for $9,956.
The funding boost will assist Lifeline in enhancing working conditions for its volunteers and staff as well as mitigate potential OH&S risks.
Mrs Davies said Lifeline South Coast offers vital services including crisis support and emergency counselling, in addition to suicide prevention training for the local community.
“It was wonderful to visit Lifeline to see firsthand the valuable work the team do to reduce stigma and increase the help available on the South Coast,” Mrs Davies said.
Mrs Hancock said Lifeline South Coast had been operating in the region since 1969, offering its telephone crisis service to an area spanning from Helensburgh to the Victorian border.
“More than 95 per cent of people who work for Lifeline South Coast are volunteers,” Mrs Hancock said.
“Together over the past year they have helped to answer 23,815 calls, offer financial counselling over 426 interviews, staff the organisation’s retail stores averaging 366 hours per week, run suicide prevention and mental health sessions in the Illawarra and South Coast regions as well as undertaking 29 sessions of training in various mental health courses for more than 400 participants.
“I also applaud Rachel Norris for her leadership of the organisation since taking over from Grahame Gould this year,” Mrs Hancock said.
Ms Norris said Lifeline South Coast was very appreciative of the funding.
“Volunteers are the heart of our organisation and being able to fund enhancements to the work they do is just wonderful,” she said.
“I know they will be excited to learn of this news.”