Bulletin No: 156                        Volume:  23                   Wednesday 29 November 2017



Lifeline has recently called on Australians to show support for their fellow Australians at a time when they need it most.  Lifeline has asked all to give a gift from the heart, in the form of a monetary donation, so that Lifeline is able to continue its important work.

Lifeline is a national service that provides 24-hour assistance and immediate support to callers who are experiencing deep distress.  Often, the very fact that Lifeline has answered the call and listened to the caller’s story is enough to keep callers safe.  Lifeline has undoubtedly positively impacted the lives of many Australians.  One of many examples of the impact of Lifeline’s work is highlighted in Trent’s story below:

In the moments before Trent called Lifeline, he was scared. He didn’t really want to die. He was afraid to hurt himself.

Trent was desperate. He thought that taking his own life was the only option.

This Christmas someone – perhaps someone you know or love – will feel the same way. Today you can be there for them

Five years ago, Trent was a fit healthy 19-year old. He was a keen footy player who captained his local team when he headed off for weekend away with his mates expecting to have the best weekend:

“Little did I know that it was going to be one of the worst.”

In a freak accident, a soccer cross bar collpased on him, crushing Trent’s skull. His family were told the worst – but against all the odds Trent showed remarkable determination and survived.

The road to recovery was tough. Trent had to learn to walk, talk and do the most basic of tasks again. Every step of the way his friends and family were by his side. 

There were many challenges and a few bumps along the way, but up until a few months ago everything was running along smoothly. It was then that Trent and his fiancé separated.

Trent was absolutely devastated but as a young man he thought he just needed to get over it. He told his friends and family that he was OK. But the reality was, he wasn’t:

“I lied to everyone. I said that I was doing well, and I dug myself so deep that I felt like I couldn’t go and then say I’m really struggling. So instead I told my family and friends I was in a good place.”

Thoughts of suicide began to crowd Trent’s brain:

“I was scared to die. I really didn’t want to die. I was afraid to hurt myself.”

At that moment when nothing but darkness and confusion filled Trent’s mind, he made a call to Lifeline.

That call changed his life:

“It was everything. It was non-prejudice, it was understanding. It was not pretending that you knew the answers. The guy on the phone listened and acknowledged everything that I felt … When I got off the phone, I felt an almighty sense of relief and calm come over my body.

He offered me hope.”

This Christmas, someone in deep distress – just like Trent – will call Lifeline on 13 11 14. That is why our need for your support is urgent, as sometimes the only thing that will keep them safe is that they picked up that phone.

That’s why I hope you will give from your heart this Christmas season. Your generous spirit and commitment will provide hope and healing to a fellow Australian.

Everyone deserves hope this Christmas.

In the lead up to the Christmas period, the UFU respectfully encourages members to give to organisations such as Lifeline to ensure that all Australians continue to have the support that they need.  

Strength in Unity


Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary