MAKING THE DIFFERENCE: Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland vice- chairman Andrew Taylor, volunteers Joyce Ballon, Kathy Van der Meulen, Faye and Sam Nixon, and regional chairman Shane MacDonald.
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE: Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland vice- chairman Andrew Taylor, volunteers Joyce Ballon, Kathy Van der Meulen, Faye and Sam Nixon, and regional chairman Shane MacDonald.

Recognition given to volunteers behind the scenes

WE COULDN'T do it without them, was the simple message from Lifeline Darling Downs chief executive officer Derek Tuffield on the presentation of 10, 15 and 20-year service awards to volunteers recently.

"Without our volunteer workforce ... we would not be able to continue to fund our life-saving and life-changing crisis support services which we offer free to so many in need across Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and South West region," Mr Tuffield said.

"We simply could not celebrate our success as an organisation without the dedicated support of our volunteers."

Among those honoured were husband and wife Sam and Faye Nixon, who have each given 15 years of service to the cause.

Sam was pragmatic when asked about the award, saying he had been glad of "something to do" since retiring. He started work at Lifeline's furniture shop, but moved to the Perth St shop after a few years when the heavy work got too much for him. Similarly, despite back problems which have limited her mobility, Faye remains keen to play her part and now works from home, pricing jewellery and doing button work for the shop.

According to Sam, it's a win-win situation. He enjoys doing something for others, but also keeping himself active, and he says friendships develop both with other volunteers and "over the counter" with customers, many of whom he knows by name.

Lifeline has more than 350 volunteers, a large majority of whom are over 55 years old, who collectively put in close to 13,000 hours per year and become the public face of the organisation by working in the 17 retail stores across the region or at fundraising events.

Volunteers can give as little as three hours per week or join in annual events such as Bookfest and Christmas Wonderland.

Anybody interested can register online at www.lifelinedarlingdowns. org.au or phone 1300991443.

VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARDS

10 YEARS - David Buttress-Grove, Wendy French and Margaret Fing.

15 YEARS - Jeanne Mims, Hazel Schloss, Gloria Henning, Faye and Sam Nixon, Joyce Ballon and Kathryn VanDerMeulen.

20 YEARS - Lola Greer and Patricia Anderson.

Loads of Love 2016

NOW in its seventh year, the Loads of Love Appeal is designed to allow everybody that is able, to help to contribute towards relieving some of the pressure people will be feeling over Christmas.

The Loads of Love Appeal runs until the 20 December. Your donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries can be made at any of our 17 Lifeline retail stores, at our head office in Russell Street or our Distribution Centre in Stephen Street. You can also collect and return your Loads of Love bags to any of the 61 Heritage Bank branches across Southern Queensland.

Remember, 1kg can change a life.


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