Wesley Mission Sydney has welcomed the Federal Government’s budget announcement of a $10 million upgrade of the emergency telephone counseling service, Lifeline.
Wesley Mission, which began and still operates Lifeline Sydney, has provided more than $4 million towards the operating costs of the service since it began more than 40 years ago. However, the organization has struggled to meet the massive costs of upgrading telephony equipment.
The Superintendent of Wesley Mission Sydney, Reverend Gordon Moyes said he was pleased that Prime Minister John Howard had responded to his appeals for assistance with a funding allocation for capital upgrades to 42 Life Line centers across Australia.
“Lifeline has been thrown a lifeline, because, even with hundreds of trained volunteers we would have been unable to continue without better telephone equipment,” he said.
“We look now to Telstra our principal sponsor to help us implement the changes. “
Lifeline Sydney took 23,392 calls from people in crisis last year amounting to 29,392 volunteer hours. During the past 40 years Lifeline Sydney volunteers have given more than one million hours of service.
Nationally, Lifeline takes more than 450,000 calls each year utilizing 10,000 volunteers.
“We would not be able to provide the service without the support of our volunteers,” Moyes said. “The Government’s $10 million upgrade is a thank you to their outstanding commitment and work.”