Business backs Lifeline’s emerald connection

Business backs Lifeline’s emerald connection

Local businesses and leaders are being encouraged to join those already getting behind Lifeline Hunter’s free virtual event on Saturday 5 March to celebrate 55 years of offering hope and support to the people of the Hunter.

Lifeline’s Business Development Manager, Pat Calabria said heart breakingly, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of celebrations several times – including its Emerald Ball.

Several Hunter businesses have helped to make the online Emerald Connection event possible including Out of the Square Media, saberVox, WesTrac, Regional Australia Bank, NCIG, Hunter Signs, Gencom, and Powerhouse Comms. Pat welcomes other additional business support.

The free hour-long event will be live streamed via Lifeline Hunter’s Facebook and Youtube channels.

Hosted by Triple M’s Tanya and Steve, Pat said it promises to be an evening of fun, connection, and celebration.

The event will showcase the Everyone Has a Story campaign – an initiative of Hunter businesses Molycop and Out of the Square Media.

The campaign aims to break down barriers and reduce the stigma around mental illness. Employees of participating businesses share personal stories with each other and receive guidance to support those facing similar challenges.

Emerald Connection will also serve as a fundraiser with raffle prizes and a silent auction.

“We also couldn’t let our ball auction and raffle prizes go to waste and they are available to bid on and purchase right now,” Pat said.

With so much uncertainty, anxiety and stress in the community, Lifeline has never been needed more. Calls to Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis support service are up 25 per cent since the start of the pandemic. On New Year’s Day, Lifeline received 3,726 calls nationally, the highest ever number of calls in a single day.

“We have put on more local crisis supporters and while they are largely volunteers it costs $3,500 to train and support each person. Each call to Lifeline costs an average of $39 and nationally we expect to take one million calls this year.”

“Local Lifeline centres rely on community support to keep our 13 11 14 and other free services such as counselling running.

“We’ve seen a fall in revenue locally because our retail shops and fund-raising events were significantly impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.”

Reverend John Chegwidden started Lifeline Hunter in 1966, three years after the service started in Sydney.

“Lifeline Hunter has a proud history of being in community, for community and with community and our commitment to the people of the Hunter has never been stronger,” John said.


“If you or someone you know is struggling, we’re here to listen without judgement, acknowledge the pain, and offer hope.”

Pat said Lifeline Hunter can also help businesses to create mentally healthy workplaces with training programs.

If this story causes an issue for you, you can phone Lifeline (24 hours) on 13 11 14.

IMAGE | Lifeline’s Business Development Manager, Pat Calabria.

Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter

Lifeline was founded by the Reverend Alan Walker at Methodist Central Mission in Sydney in 1963. Since then, Lifeline services have been established around Australia and in many parts of the world.

Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter began in 1966 when Reverend John Chegwidden was awakened by a distressed telephone call from a man wanting to know if there was a Lifeline service operating in the region.

Over the years, Lifeline Newcastle & Hunter has expanded its operations from the traditional telephone crisis support service to include a range of services to relieve the stress and pain of the people of Newcastle & Hunter.

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