A Message from our New CEO, Elizabeth Lovell

What an incredible privilege it is to join an organisation of such purpose and scale of impact.

When we think about suicide prevention, across our community, directly and indirectly, Lifeline H2H for more than 30 years has trained and equipped thousands of individuals in our community.  To our CS and ISS volunteers, on behalf of all those individuals you connect with, those precious minutes where you hold them in a caring, non-judgemental space, acknowledge their emotions and steward them through to more solid ground, you continue to make life changing impacts every day – thank you. 

For those serving the vulnerable in our community via financial counselling, emergency care, our clinical groups, counselling and psychological services, I observe a calm compassion and respect, underpinned by deep expertise and rigour for evidencing tangible results. 

Next week we are holding a local function to celebrate 30 years of the Community Visitors Scheme operating within Australia.  The LifelineH2H CVS program commenced in January 2019 with only a small number of volunteers and recipients. Since that time the program has rapidly expanded as we have successfully matched numerous volunteers and recipients. Over the past year, alone, there have been 74 wonderful CVS volunteers supporting and making a positive difference in the lives of over 100 recipients.

When I consider the passion and talent of our retail teams, I am so excited by the unique and curated experience of our stores, proven by the swathes of loyal and enthusiastic clientele, of which I am now also a faithful member. Retail stores in July had one of their strongest months over the past year. We are all very excited about the new shop at Pennant Hills, which is hoped to open in late September. 

Ah..the books.  My eyes are yet to adjust to the real-life size of my shelves at home and reconcile that with what I am seeing with glee in the Depots and Bookstores.  It seems that the community at large are also fans and come from afar to partake of your offerings. As well as the books though, you have created something worth real gold, in the caring, proud and active volunteer community you host at the Depots and Stores each day, and most certainly at the Book Fairs.   

Thank you to all the volunteers at both Book Depots and stores – the Lindfield team recently completed a really solid review following the very successful Knox Book Fair and Hornsby is under full steam towards Castle Hill Book Fair. 

Thank you also to the workforce that operate our key functions across the organisation, from logistics, to finance, rostering, administration, marketing, ICT and the powerhouse women at reception. September is jam-packed with the Gala Ball, the Bobbo Cycle Classic and Castle Hill Book Fair.

I regard this initial phase of my role as a very important time of observation and I hope lots of listening, as well as supporting our teams with critical and time-sensitive activities over the next few months.  I look forward to continuing the discussions with each of you and hearing your thoughts on the priorities and opportunities as we move forward, however, share below some early observations and thoughts.  

These include how we ensure that we preserve the incredibly precious culture and commitment of our volunteers, engage our community in conjunction with Lifeline Australia, how we continue to strengthen a robust income base in support of our crisis, community and clinical services, which in turn involves how we further build external recognition of what we do.

Our external presence primarily assists our role in reaching critical demographics in crisis and initiatives which build the underpinning resilience of the H2H community in support of suicide prevention and mental health.  Secondly, in light of that role, it strengthens our voice for financial and non-financial support to meet demand.

I close by encouraging you all to continuing to remain vigilant about the evolving Covid situation, flu season and wish you and your loved ones safety and health in the coming week.

Warm regards Liz