Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

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.

Email black­di­a­mond@life­

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d440169

Phone coun­sel­lor David Kelly and Rohan Milne with the pen­dant to be auc­tioned at the gala din­ner.

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