Lifeline Macarthur celebrates hard-working volunteers

Dedicated Lifeline Macarthur volunteer Marc Whyte finds his role "very rewarding". Picture: Chris Lane
Dedicated Lifeline Macarthur volunteer Marc Whyte finds his role "very rewarding". Picture: Chris Lane

Lifeline Macarthur relies on its volunteers to keep the cogs turning.

Without its loyal troupe of volunteers, the organisation would not be able to help the huge number of locals it does.

One such volunteer is Marc Whyte.

The 37-year-old has volunteered with Lifeline for almost four years and loves playing his part to help others.

Mr Whyte was born with muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair-bound. He is thrilled to be able to pay back some of the assistance he has received throughout his life.

"I'm not able to do a lot of physical things to help out, but this is something that I can do to give back," he said.

"I did my training in late 2015 and have been volunteering at the crisis support line in Smeaton Grange ever since."

Mr Whyte spends two days a week volunteering his time and was Lifeline Macarthur's most recent volunteer of the month.

There are more than 500 active volunteers with the charitable organisation, working across a range of areas including the national crisis line (13 11 14), retail, warehousing and fundraising.

The volunteers collectively donated 93,000 hours of their time to the organisation in the past year alone.

Mr Whyte said it was "very rewarding" to work with Lifeline.

"It's not always easy to be on the crisis line but it makes such a difference to be with people in a tough time," he said.

"If you can make a small contribution for the better it is extremely rewarding."

Mr Whyte said there were many reasons people across Australia reached out to Lifeline, including depression, financial loss, bullying and more.

He said support line volunteers were trained to provide options for callers, but to never tell them what decision to make.

Mr Whyte said the Lifeline management staff made his volunteering time a joy.

"They really look after our emotional wellbeing," he said.

"While we're checking in on other people, they're checking in on us."

Lifeline Macarthur chief executive Brad Hannagan thanked all the volunteers for their hard work.

"The contribution of our volunteers towards our vision of an Australia free of suicide is truly immeasurable," he said.

"Our valuable services delivered to society would not be possible without them and for that, Lifeline Macarthur and Australians in general owe them a debt of gratitude."

Anyone interested in volunteering can call 4645 7200 or email voluneer@lifelinemacarthur.org.au.