Lifeline volunteers celebrated on the Sunshine Coast
Two Sunshine Coast volunteers have hung-up their headsets for the last time as they retire from their roles as Crisis Supporters on the Lifeline Crisis Line with more than 53 years of combined service.
At a special event held at the Maroochydore Lifeline Centre this week, surrounded by their colleagues and team, Cathy Apelt and Laurel Asimus were acknowledged for their dedication as volunteers on the Lifeline Crisis Support line.
Lifeline Statewide Manager Lee-Anne Borham said that both Cathy and Laurel were an inspiration among the volunteer team and will leave a lasting legacy through the thousands of lives they have supported.
"It would be impossible to quantify the number of lives both Cathy and Laurel have impacted on during their time at Lifeline.
"On average a Crisis Supporter undertakes 92 hours of volunteering each year, which equates to over 4800 hours between them – an outstanding achievement.
"Every call they’ve taken over the years has touched lives in some way and words cannot describe our deep appreciation of their service," said Lee-Anne.
Known for her compassionate and caring disposition, Cathy, who joined Lifeline in Rockhampton in 1988, said one of the highlights of her time with Lifeline was being surrounded by like-minded people with a deep desire to help others.
"The community at Lifeline has been incredibly supportive; whether it be the training and development we’ve received or the connection between the Crisis Supporters.
"I feel I have been able to get back more than I give. Supporting people through personal struggles and making a difference to their lives has been a truly rewarding experience," said Cathy.
After joining in 1995 following her time on the Lifeline management board, Laurel said she feels an immense attachment to the organisation and would be sad to leave her Lifeline family.
"I joined Lifeline to gain a better understanding of the lives of others and to make a difference to someone who may be experiencing a personal crisis.
"I have found it to be very rewarding - whether it is supporting the client through a significant personal crisis or just be a friendly voice on the phone.
UnitingCare Queensland operates Lifeline services across the state, including the 13 11 14 crisis line that provides support to those experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
In Queensland UnitingCare Community operates Lifeline Services and Shops. Lifeline services include the Crisis Line 13 11 14; suicide bereavement and prevention individual and group support; and Lifeline's disaster recovery program, Community Recovery. For more information, please visit our website www.lifelineshopsqld.com. Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/LifelineShops
About UnitingCare Queensland
UnitingCare Queensland provides health and community services to thousands of people every day of the year through its service groups, UnitingCare Child and Family Services, UnitingCare Hospitals, Blue Care and ARRCS (Australian Regional and Remote Community Services).
As the health and community service provider of the Uniting Church we have supported Queensland communities for over 60 years. Our 17,400 employees and 9,200 volunteers care for and support people from all walks of life, including older people, people with disability, children, families and Indigenous people.
For more information about UnitingCare Queensland please visit: www.unitingcareqld.com.au