7NEWS.com.au has published a series of profiles about the wonderful work done by Lifeline’s Telephone Crisis Supporters.

Thank you to the TCSs who participated in the project, and for sharing their personal experiences. These stories will no doubt inspire others to provide that vital human connection for someone who is struggling, or feeling vulnerable or isolated – and may even give someone the courage to call Lifeline when they are feeling overwhelmed.

The profiles are a testament to the important work done by Lifeline, and a tribute to all the skilled, kind and compassionate individuals who give their time to listen to callers in their moment of need.

Read the main story and separate profiles by clicking here.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or text with us on 0477 13 11 14 (midday-midnight)

Lifeline Australia has awarded Sydney local Merlyne Thompson with the national charity’s volunteer of the year award.

Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt today announced the winner of Lifeline Australia’s Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer of the Year is Ms Merlyne Thompson a volunteer from Sydney’s Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury centre in Gordon. The announcement was made at Lifeline Australia's AGM on Friday, 20 November 2020.

“I congratulate Merlyne and would like to pass on my thanks to her, as a representative of all Lifeline volunteers, when we say you save lives and protect lives, that’s what you do,” said Minister Hunt.

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury CEO Wendy Carver said that Ms Thompson who has been volunteering since 1998 (22 years), has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the organisation’s vision of an Australia free of suicide.

“Merlyne Thompson is a very worthy winner of the Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer Award,” Mrs Carver said.

“Merlyne has been with us for more than 22 years, volunteering as a Crisis Supporter, Board Secretary, and providing a significant contribution to Lifeline in her role as an administrative volunteer. Merlyne has been involved in a wide range of important projects, including the internal recognition of Lifeline’s large workforce of volunteers and ensuring good governance of our Lifeline centre. It has always been my pleasure to work with Merlyne and we are delighted to see her many years of compassionate contribution being recognised at the national level,” said Mrs Carver.

Ms Thompson was both pleased and humbled to receive the award, saying her work with Lifeline is some of the most rewarding work of her life:

“To be told I was nominated was amazing, but to be told I’ve won, I cannot believe it! Particularly this year when everyone knows what a year we’ve had through drought, flood, bushfire and COVID, we’ve been incredibly challenged.

“This year, we haven’t just worked hard at Lifeline, we’ve shone. Touching more lives than ever before and it’s an absolute honour to be involved. I would like to acknowledge all the team here, everyone who has challenged me, guided me, supported me and changed me, this is all of ours…I have to say thank you for having me on your team, because I think Lifeline is just amazing. Thank you so much for this honour,” said Ms Thompson.

Lifeline Australia Chairman Mr John Brogden thanked Ms Thompson for using her heart-warming compassion and professional skill to help stop suicides.

“Ms Thompson has made an extraordinary contribution to Lifeline, both as a Crisis Supporter and utilising her professional skills to support policy and Board development at Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury. She is a highly regarded member of the Lifeline family and we are delighted to recognise her today,” Mr Brogden said.

“Merlyne is one of our 10,000 volunteers across the country, including about 3,500 Crisis Supporters, working together to tackle our national suicide emergency. We do this by being there for people when they’re at their most vulnerable – giving them hope when hope seems impossible,” he continued.

The Mary Parsissons Outstanding Volunteer Award recognises the outstanding efforts of the volunteering across the country. It awards volunteers who have showed excellence in their volunteer field, contributed to the community, have been an inspiration within their centre and demonstrated leadership. 

For crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifelineh2h.org.au/get-help.

Lifeline H2H's final book sale for 2020 is being held at Beaumont Road Public School in Killara on Saturday-Sunday, 28-29 November. 8am-4pm both days.

With nothing over $2, you'll find a huge range of great books, CDs, DVDs and more at the $2 Clearance Sale in Killara.

Check out our flyer below.

Pandemic restrictions may have forced the cancellation of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury’s famous book fairs on the North Shore, but it hasn’t stopped us from establishing COVID-safe pop-up book shops in the area, with the next outlet opening next week in Hornsby!

The success of Lifeline H2H’s first two Pop-Up Book Shops has shown that there remains a ravenous appetite for printed books, DVDs and CDs among locals and visitors from all over Sydney. The new Hornsby Book Shop aims to help satisfy that craving, with volunteers working hard to clean and sort stock for the first day of trading this coming Tuesday.

Past and new supporters of Lifeline can now choose from a massive range of high-quality, low-priced books – as well as DVDs, CDs, vinyls, comics and computer games. What’s more, stock presented in the Hornsby Book Shop has never been made available before, at either a book fair or any of Lifeline’s retail stores.

All carefully selected pre-loved items are in good or excellent condition, and books are sorted into more than 50 categories – including children’s and young adult, popular and literary fiction, memoir and biography, classics, art, history, military, science and nature, travel, music, graphic novels, cookery, gardening, craft, text books and study guides. Stock is replenished daily, so return visits are a must.

Whether you’re a bibliophile, a collector, or you just love reading/films/music, there’s something for everyone at Lifeline’s Pop-up Book Shops. Do pop in and bring the whole family – but don’t wait. These pop-ups won’t last forever, so grab your bargains while you can.

All proceeds raised by Lifeline’s Pop-up Book Shops go towards funding Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury’s comprehensive suite of crisis support and suicide prevention services. Lifeline H2H thanks all customers and donors for their much-valued support and generosity in helping us to help others.

The Lifeline Pop-Up Book Shop in Hornsby is located close to the railway station, with plenty of car parking available nearby. Cash accepted, though card preferred.

GRAND OPENING: 13 OCTOBER 2020!
LIFELINE POP-UP BOOK SHOP
20 George Street (next to railway overpass), Hornsby
Trading Hours: Tues–Sat, 10am–4pm

Our popular Pop-Up Book Shop at Roseville may no longer be with us, but we’re very excited to announce the opening TOMORROW of a new Pop-Up Lifeline Book Shop at 328 Pacific Highway, Lindfield. These premises were previously inhabited by the much-missed Lindfield Bookshop, one of Sydney’s most beloved book retailers.

The old Lindfield Bookshop was an institution on the upper North Shore for 35 years, but it closed a year ago. The site has been empty since, and Lifeline H2H has just signed a 6-month lease to offer a massive range of high-quality second-hand books in a prime location. There will also be DVDs, CDs, vinyls, comics and computer games – all at bargain-basement prices. Not only will Lindfield locals once again be able to buy books in a physical book store, but every purchase will help Lifeline H2H support others.

The owner of the departed Lindfield Bookshop, Scott Whitmont, is ‘delighted that a bricks-and-mortar book store will be opening once again’ on the site of his old business. Lifeline volunteers preparing the site for trade by next week have already had passers-by say how happy they are that another book shop will be opening in the neighbourhood.

Interestingly, one of Lifeline’s book depot volunteers, retired teacher Margie Knight, once worked with Scott as Manager of the Lindfield Bookshop for two years, and will be volunteering in-store once the Lifeline Book Shop opens. She’s amused by the fact that her life has circled back to this site, and is revelling in her continued immersion in the world of books. As she says, ‘There’s nothing like an actual book that you can hold and sniff, and see a real bookmark making its way through its real pages.’

Book Depot Coordinator, Michael Cleary, and the team of fantastic volunteers have been working hard setting up tables and shelving, unpacking boxes and getting everything ready for opening. He’s keen for people to know that:

There’s plenty of parking nearby, including a council car park behind the shop, with laneway access directly to it and to the Pacific Highway.
All 50+ categories usually offered at our Book Fairs will be displayed in this store.
All fresh stock (nothing previously made available at the Book Fairs or the Roseville Pop-up) will be on sale.

So, drop by our new Lifeline Book Shop in Lindfield from 10am Tuesday, 8 September 2020.

Pop-Up Lifeline Book Shop
328 Pacific Highway, Lindfield

Trading Hours:
Tues-Sat 10am-4pm
Sun 10am-2pm

Our popular Pop-Up Book Shop at Roseville may no longer be with us, but we’re very excited to announce the opening TOMORROW of a new Pop-Up Lifeline Book Shop at 328 Pacific Highway, Lindfield. These premises were previously inhabited by the much-missed Lindfield Bookshop, one of Sydney’s most beloved book retailers.

The old Lindfield Bookshop was an institution on the upper North Shore for 35 years, but it closed a year ago. The site has been empty since, and Lifeline H2H has just signed a 6-month lease to offer a massive range of high-quality second-hand books in a prime location. There will also be DVDs, CDs, vinyls, comics and computer games – all at bargain-basement prices. Not only will Lindfield locals once again be able to buy books in a physical book store, but every purchase will help Lifeline H2H support others.

The owner of the departed Lindfield Bookshop, Scott Whitmont, is ‘delighted that a bricks-and-mortar book store will be opening once again’ on the site of his old business. Lifeline volunteers preparing the site for trade by next week have already had passers-by say how happy they are that another book shop will be opening in the neighbourhood.

Interestingly, one of Lifeline’s book depot volunteers, retired teacher Margie Knight, once worked with Scott as Manager of the Lindfield Bookshop for two years, and will be volunteering in-store once the Lifeline Book Shop opens. She’s amused by the fact that her life has circled back to this site, and is revelling in her continued immersion in the world of books. As she says, ‘There’s nothing like an actual book that you can hold and sniff, and see a real bookmark making its way through its real pages.’

Book Depot Coordinator, Michael Cleary, and the team of fantastic volunteers have been working hard setting up tables and shelving, unpacking boxes and getting everything ready for opening. He’s keen for people to know that:

There’s plenty of parking nearby, including a council car park behind the shop, with laneway access directly to it and to the Pacific Highway.
All 50+ categories usually offered at our Book Fairs will be displayed in this store.
All fresh stock (nothing previously made available at the Book Fairs or the Roseville Pop-up) will be on sale.

So, drop by our new Lifeline Book Shop in Lindfield from 10am Tuesday, 8 September 2020.

Pop-Up Lifeline Book Shop
328 Pacific Highway, Lindfield

Trading Hours:
Tues-Sat 10am-4pm
Sun 10am-2pm

Keeping the appetites of book lovers satisfied during the temporary suspension of Lifeline H2H’s popular Book Fairs on the North Shore, our Pop-up Book Shop in Roseville will be closing its doors for good on Saturday, 29 August.

Until then, the shop will be brimming with its usual diverse range of incredibly priced books, DVDs, CDs, vinyls and comics for young and old alike.

Since opening on 9 June, the shop has enjoyed enthusiastic support from the community. Its prime location within the bustling Hill Street café/shopping precinct of Roseville opposite the railway station certainly helped, but the offer of high-quality items at such low cost during the time of COVD proved irresistible among passers-by and loyal book fair goers. Many customers have made multiple return visits, as stock is replenished daily, and new categories introduced regularly – History, Literature, Commercial Fiction, Military, Biography, Science and Nature, Music, Philosophy, Languages, Cookery, Crafts/Hobbies, Gardening and Children’s/YA books are just some of the genres represented.

The pop-up shop was made possible due to the generous donation of rent-free premises by real estate firm Marshall.Chan.Yahl. Principal of the company, Craig Marshall, who has been supporting local business and charity organisations for 30 years, gave kind permission to Lifeline H2H to establish its first dedicated book shop on the North Shore.

We sincerely thank Craig and his company for this extraordinary opportunity, which provided Lifeline H2H with an important revenue source in the wake of cancelled fund-raising events, while enabling us to offer cut-price reading material, movies and music to divert and entertain the community during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the shop is still open for a couple of weeks yet, so head on down for some unbeatable bargains before it’s too late. Our wonderful volunteers look forward to seeing you there very soon.

What: Lifeline Pop-Up book Shop
Where: 21 Hill Street, Roseville
When: Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–4pm

A new kid on the block has moved in at Roseville’s Hill Street retail strip – a pop-up Lifeline Book Shop.

Since it opened on 9 June, Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury’s first dedicated book store has been warmly welcomed by locals, many of whom have been so impressed by the range and quality of items on offer that they’ve already returned for repeat visits. In fact, according to Michael Cleary, Lifeline H2H’s Lindfield Book Depot Coordinator, ‘the response from the public has exceeded all expectations’.

The COVID-related suspension of Lifeline H2H’s much-loved annual Book Fairs across the North Shore has meant that the new Book Shop is able to offer an outstanding selection of books, DVDs and CDs from the enormous stockpile of donations housed at their Lindfield depot.

While, initially, only fiction/children’s/cookery/craft books, DVDs and CDs were made available, the shop has now introduced 12 nonfiction categories, mainly in response to customers’ requests and interests. So, apart from the particularly extensive collection of children’s books to explore (split into different age categories), book enthusiasts and bargain hunters will now also find a diverse range of titles in subject areas that include art, music, travel, history, military, sport and true crime.

Conveniently located at 21 Hill Street, across the road from Roseville station, the spacious premises occupied by the Lifeline Book Shop have been provided rent-free for two months by real-estate firm Marshall.Chan.Yahl. Lifeline H2H’s CEO, Wendy Carver, is immensely grateful for their support: ‘MCY’s amazing generosity is allowing us a vital revenue stream at a time when so many of our usual fundraising efforts have been placed on hold.’

Lifeline’s pop-up Book Shop is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm. In accordance with recommended guidelines, appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices have been implemented to protect both customers and volunteer staff. Stocks are replenished every day, bags are provided for purchases (but BYO boxes if needed), plenty of street parking is available, and card is preferred to cash.

Lifeline H2H looks forward to welcoming customers to their latest retail venture and thanks the community for its valued support in helping them help others.

Funds raised by the Book Shop will go towards Lifeline H2H’s suite of services, including the 24/7 telephone crisis hotline 13 11 14, community aid, and clinical services.  

Key fundraising events for Lifeline H2H have been cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19

Lifeline H2H continues to provide vital crisis support and suicide prevention service to our community during COVID-19. Every service is still accessible for anyone who needs support.

Due to the continued uncertainty around COVID-19 and out of a desire to protect our volunteers, staff, clients and customers from possible exposure, Lifeline H2H has had to make the difficult decision to cancel key fundraising events for 2020.

The following events have been cancelled, and upcoming dates will be reviewed as they get closer to ensure we are able to follow government guidelines and operate in a COVID-Safe environment:

  • The Bobbin Head Cycle Classic – 29 March 2020
  • Thornleigh Book Fair – 18-19 April 2020
  • Hornsby $2 Book Clearance – 30-31 May 2020
  • Wahroonga Book Fair at Knox Grammar School – 16-19 July 2020
  • Sapphire Gala Ball – 19 September 2020

Even though a number of our book fairs have been cancelled, you can still purchase good quality books at our Lifeline stores – click here to see which stores remain open.

If you’d like to donate pre-loved goods, please call one of our stores to confirm if they are accepting donations.

If you’re looking to donate books to Lifeline, we can’t accept them at the moment as our book depots are closed. Join our mailing list and we’ll let you know when we re-open – click here.

We also accept financial donations, if you’re able to give to support Lifeline H2H, click here.

Covid-19 pandemic sees Australians reach out to Lifeline in record numbers with 13 11 14 now receiving a call for help every 30 seconds.

Lifeline, Australia’s leading crisis support and suicide prevention service has recently launched a national emergency appeal in response to the increased pressure it is facing due to the COVID-19
pandemic.

The campaign titled ‘You’ve Got 30 Seconds To Save A Life’ comes at a time when Australians have been turning to Lifeline in record numbers as they grapple with COVID-19 on the back of the summer’s bushfire devastation.

In March, Lifeline received almost 90,000 calls for help, an increase of 25% over the same time last year – this equates to one call every 30 seconds. As the service braces for continued increases in the call rate throughout this time of uncertainty, Lifeline is appealing for donations from those who are in a position to give, to help save lives.

COVID-19 has reduced the fundraising revenue for Lifeline Centres across the country, including Lifeline H2H. With the closure of 250 retail stores and the cancellation of mental health community training programs, book fairs, fundraising dinners and other events, Lifeline needs to raise $5 million to fill the gap left by COVID-19.

Funds raised through the campaign, ‘You’ve Got 30 Seconds To Save A Life’, will support Lifeline’s 40 Centres around the nation to continue to provide crisis support through 13 11 14, as well as
suicide prevention services direct to the community.

To help Australians who may be feeling worried, anxious, or overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak, Lifeline has compiled the following mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies:

  • Manage your exposure to media coverage.
  • Follow a “calm yet cautious” approach – do your best to remain calm and be mindful not to contribute to the widespread panic. Ensure you are following directives issued by the government, medical advice and observe good hygiene habits.
  • Show compassion and kindness to one another as we strengthen our sense of community by connecting with and supporting each other.
  • Actively manage your wellbeing by maintaining routines where possible, connect with family and friends (even if not in person), staying physically active, eating nutritious foods and seeking additional support by contacting Lifeline or further professional support as required.

Looking for support?

All Lifeline H2H services are operating throughout COVID-19 restrictions. Visit Get Help to see our list of local services.