INCREASING pressure on the Lifeline counselling network is testing the finances and capacity of the service.
Lifeline’s Ipswich Regional Manager, Cheryl Shaw, said the current crisis meant fundraising for the service was never more important.
One of the key drivers in helping Lifeline maintain its 24-hour seven-day-a-week operation was the funds raised through their many local stores.
In Ipswich Lifeline just opened their 15th outlet, a large store in the West Ipswich retail centre on Brisbane Street.
The new store, which spans 500 square metres, has a range of high-quality products, from clothing to electrical, homewares, accessories, new and recycled furniture as well as a range of book and much more.
With proceeds from the store helping to support the 13 11 14 Lifeline Crisis Support Line, people can feel good knowing that every purchase is helping the community.
Ms Shaw said the Lifeline stores weren’t all about raising funds.
“The stores, stocked through the generosity of others, offer affordable items enabling families doing it tough to buy goods they could not normally afford,” she said.
“Opening our doors seven days a week to these families is also a way of showing them they are not alone and that organisations such as ours are here to support them,” she said.
“We have around 60 volunteers in the Ipswich region regularly coming in to help our store managers and we are always looking for more.
“They need to be passionate about helping others and our stores are a great way for them to do this. It also provides volunteers with a friendship base meeting others who feel the same way that they do.”
Volunteers are asked to commit about 15 hours a week and the hours can be adjusted to suit their needs.
“Even giving us four hours of your time, each week helps us out,” Ms Shaw said.
“People love being part of our Lifeline outlets and their warm welcoming to our customers creates the atmosphere which is so important to us.”
“We are big around community and people feeling valuable.”
Last year Lifeline’s Ipswich Bookfest weekend added $30,000 to the organisation’s coffers.
It’s timely that this year’s Bookfest is just a few weeks away and will be happening at their Raceview depot at 128 Briggs Road on October 27-28-29.