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Lifeline Northern Rivers has been able to purchase 10 new industrial grade trolleys to assist in safer work practices at their retail sorting facility in South Lismore, thanks to funding from the ETC Community Support Fund.

Lifeline Northern Rivers Retail Services Manager Sharon Sawyer said the equipment upgrade was necessary and long overdue.

“Our volunteers have to do a lot of transporting of rejected products around our sorting room and previously they were doing this with large trolley cages that they couldn’t see over the top of when they were fall which was a bit of a safety hazard. Our new trolleys are much smaller and easier to move around,” she said.

“To be able to upgrade our equipment is fantastic. That kind of money doesn’t come easy to not-for-profit organisations like us. Every dollar we spend on equipment is less that we have for the services we provide. So to be able to secure ETC Community Support funding was really valuable.”

Ms Sawyer said Lifeline Northern Rivers played an important role in the local community.

“We take donated goods from people in the community and sell them in our retail shops. The money raised goes towards funding our crisis call centre which is a suicide prevention, 24-hour crisis line. We also do other community suicide prevention activities as well,” she said.

“We have 65 volunteers and 5 paid staff working at our retail sorting facility. Our volunteers are made up of all different kinds of people so it’s a great eclectic mix of people who help us do what we do.

Ms Sawyer said the equipment upgrade was essential in ensuring the safety of the staff and volunteers who work at Lifeline Northern Rivers.

“We have a duty of care to our staff and volunteers. We also believe that teaching volunteers the value of systems and safe handling methods in the workplace is a basic skill for employment readiness,” she said.

ETC’s Chairman Rod McKelvey said it was a pleasure to be able to support Lifeline Northern Rivers.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Mr McKelvey said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.”

ETC provides employment and training services on the North Coast. If you need help finding a job, are looking for staff or are interested in up-skilling, contact ETC on 1800 007 400.



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