Every day around the globe, millions of people step up and take action on issues that matter to them. Some contribute their individual efforts, while others volunteer with communities, organizations and companies. Volunteerism is the bedrock of our Lifeline and an essential thread in all societies. As TELL celebrates its 50th anniversary, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors who have helped TELL to support people struggling with mental health issues in the community. Volunteers have always been at the heart of our service and have helped TELL save and change lives in our community. Consistent with the IVD theme, these individuals have come together, each in their own way, to make a significant difference in the lives of those around them.
In particular, we would like to thank our volunteer phone and chat support workers who remain anonymous in our community and have provided around 300,000 hours of support to users in need over the past 50 years. Your selfless support to those in need is gratefully appreciated and valued. TELL would also like to thank the many volunteers who helped with our fundraising and awareness events across the years from everyone who took part in this year’s Step Up Challenge, Tokyo Tower Climb, Pub Quizzes, and Comedy nights, or supported evacuees and refugee populations or held individual campaigns, just to name a few. Today, we recognise and celebrate all the volunteers, their efforts and their achievements, without which TELL would not exist and without whom TELL would not be able to support those who reach out for help.
Globally, as countries and regions grapple with increasing disasters and growing vulnerable and disadvantaged communities and populations, the need for volunteers and institutions to work together to address these challenges is more vital than ever. During times of crisis, the demand for such services and support increases and becomes urgent. As a result, volunteers and people working in organisations supporting these populations increasingly find themselves working in crisis mode. TELL would also like to acknowledge and thank all the volunteers who have undertaken psychological first aid training and supported people during times of disaster, such as the recent Ukrainian and Syrian refugees and evacuees and numerous disasters in Japan over the past 50 years.
TELL will celebrate International Volunteer Day by highlighting some of our retired Support Workers and providing free self-care and compassion fatigue workshops for our volunteers. On December 9th, TELL will open one workshop on Compassion Fatigue and Self Care to all volunteers in the community, providing volunteers with much-needed skills in managing the emotional toll of the vital work they deliver.