Lifeline Tasmania Chief Executive Officer, Debbie Evans, says preparations are underway to open a new Lifeline Shop in Shearwater later this month.

“We’re keen to open the doors to our new Shearwater shop as soon as possible and in the meantime we’re welcoming new volunteers to our team.

“Volunteers are the backbone to our organisation and without them we simply would not exist,” Ms Evans explained.

With 10 retail outlets throughout the State, Lifeline Tasmania’s Shops help fund the work Lifeline delivers in the Tasmanian community, which in turn helps to save lives.

“At Lifeline, together with our 400 volunteers, we share a vision for a Tasmania free of suicide and work throughout the entire state delivering suicide prevention and postvention programs,” Ms Evans said.

Across the current seven Lifeline Shops in North West Tasmania, 162 volunteers donate more than 40,000 hours of their time each year.

Lifeline Tasmania’s North West Retail Manager, Phil Mann, says it is the volunteers that shape our shops.

“I love that our volunteers are looking to have some fun whilst working with us and it is great to see people connecting with others and enjoying life,” he said.

Mr Mann says Lifeline Tasmania has a varied volunteer workforce, with volunteers coming from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, various ages, and people with mental health and physically disabilities.

“We really value the contribution any individual can make and we do not ask our volunteers to retire based on age. Even individuals in their nineties can make a tremendous contribution to our work here at Lifeline and the lives of their fellow volunteers,” he explained.

After the opening of the new Shearwater Shop Ms Evans says they will be closing the doors of the East Devonport Shop, with a focus remaining on our Devonport Shop in the Four Ways.

“Retail is an important financial contributor to our programs in the State and as a result we are continuously looking at how we can improve our Shops.

“We saw a gap in the thrift-shop market in the Shearwater region and the new site offers a lot more space and opportunities for more variety of stock, being 10 minutes from East Devonport we hope to continue to see regulars shopping with us,” Ms Evans said.

Lifeline welcomes donations of sellable items at Shearwater and in East Devonport. For information on how to volunteer interested individuals can email [email protected]mania.org.au