BLACK DIAMOND ON THE MENU AT LIFELINE DINNER
LIFELINE WA wants to be able to fund more David Kellys, also known as telephone counsellors, after the charity’s annual Black Diamond Gala Dinner next month.
Guests at the August 1 event will be encouraged to help cover training costs for more telephone crisis support service counsellors that cost $3000 each to train.
Mr Kelly started volunteering at Lifeline in 2009, two years after his 20-year-old son committed suicide.
“I was thinking of something to do to give back,” he said.
“We never used Lifeline but had some amazing people who supported us through the most awful of times, so we wanted to be able to give back.”
Lifeline chief executive Fiona Kalaf said demand for Lifeline services such as the telephone and online chat services was increasing significantly as more people became aware of how they helped in an hour of need.
“We are encouraging people from the business community to attend the dinner and not only help support our work and enjoy an evening of hope and inspiration, but also have a fantastic night out,” Ms Kalaf said.
Mr Kelly, whose wife Susie Biggon also volunteers at Lifeline, said it was a privilege to be able to help people at the other end of the phone at a time of distress.
“To be able to listen as they tell their story and connect them to their strengths, it’s an amazing privilege,” he said.
“Our loss was a terrible part of our lives but what we have learned from it has made us go in a different direction and we get great rewards from that.”
Guests also have the chance to win an $8000 black diamond pendant made and donated by longtime Lifeline supporters Rohan and Toni Milne from Rohan Jewellery in Leederville.
It hangs from an 18ct white gold chain and will be raffled with the $100 tickets also available to people who cannot attend the dinner.
Phone counsellor David Kelly and Rohan Milne with the pendant to be auctioned at the gala dinner.