Lifeline temporarily closes retail stores

April 2, 2020

Lifeline Queensland today announced it had made the difficult decision to temporarily close its Lifeline retail stores across the state (excluding Darling Downs), effective at close of business Thursday 2 April, 2020.

Jamie Mackay, Queensland General Manager for Lifeline Retail, said that the decision had been made to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its customers, employees and volunteers due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 across Queensland.

“We’ll be doing everything we can to support our amazing retail employees and volunteers during this temporary closure, and have no intention of reducing positions across our stores. Our people will be able to access a range of supports, including going into negative annual leave where possible,” he said.

Mr Mackay emphasised that while Lifeline’s retail stores would temporarily close, its 13 11 14 crisissupport and suicide prevention phone line (that Lifeline’s retail store network directly funds) would remain open 24/7 throughout the crisis, but that it was under incredible strain and in urgent need of a financial
assistance package from the Queensland Government.

“Our 13 11 14 crisis-support line is under unprecedented demand from the Queensland community due to the financial and mental health impact of COVID-19 on individuals and families.

“We’re fielding an unprecedented volume of calls at the moment, and we’re struggling to answer the
phone to everyone.

“Most people don’t know that our 13 11 14 crisis-support line is fully funded by the revenue from our retail
store network and donations from the public.

“We desperately need urgent funding from the Queensland Government to ensure our 13 11 14 crisissupport line is not only able to weather the absence of revenue from our retail stores, but to service the increased public demand due to COVID-19,” said Mr Mackay.

“Now more than ever, the public need that compassionate listening ear on the end of the phone. We know it saves lives,” he said.

Lifeline retail stores across Queensland will be closed to the public from 5pm Thursday 2 April until further notice.

Media contact:
Matthew Cuming
Director Corporate Affairs
UnitingCare Queensland / Lifeline Queensland
Ph: 0450 536 788

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