Mars Wrigley Australia makes donation to suicide prevention service, to help with COVID-19 response

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Mars Wrigley Australia has donated funds to the community of Ballarat, where one of its factories is located. Pic:
Mars Wrigley Australia has donated funds to the community of Ballarat, where one of its factories is located. Pic:

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Mars Wrigley Australia has announced it has made a cash donation of AU$40,612 ($26,000) to a national suicide prevention charity to help the organization cope with a surge in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lifeline Ballarat and Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury, part of Australia’s largest suicide prevention service, supports the mental health and wellbeing of the community. The current crisis has seen Australians reaching out to Lifeline in record numbers – on average, one call every 30 seconds, or an equivalent of 3,000 calls each day, it said.

Lifesaving crisis support 

To help meet the increased demand for its 24/7 lifesaving crisis support services, Lifeline Ballarat and Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury have used Mars Wrigley Australia’s donation to purchase 240 telephone headsets, ensuring each crisis support volunteer has the equipment needed to provide lifesaving crisis support now and into the future.

Andrew Leakey, general manager, Mars Wrigley Australia, said: “The global COVID-19 pandemic has introduced challenges to millions of lives, and as a business, we are committed to supporting the local communities we operate in as we collectively navigate these uncertain times. Through our donation to Lifeline, we hope to support the mental wellbeing of our community by ensuring volunteers have the equipment they need to carry out the critical, lifesaving crisis support work Australians need during this time and into the future​.”

In response to the donation, Wendy Carver, CEO of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury said: “As a not-for-profit, we lean on community support and funding to keep our operations running and we’re very grateful for the generous support from Mars Wrigley Australia. With Australians increasingly seeking Lifeline’s support to cope with the current environment, the donation of individual headsets will increase the safety of our crisis support volunteers and ensure we can continue to keep up with increased demand​.”

As part of Mars, Incorporated’s global COVID-19 relief efforts, Mars Wrigley Australia has made a total of over $200,000 cash and in-kind donations to the communities in which it operates.

Jodie Van Schie, program manager, Lifeline Ballarat, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Mars Wrigley for their generous donation. During the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of calls to our service and these headsets will ensure our expert crisis supporters are able to continue to support vulnerable people in their time of need​.”

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