About Us

Our Philosophy

  • LifeLine Western Cape is an organisation of well trained and carefully selected LifeLine counsellors who genuinely care for and provide support to callers and clients facing a crisis in their lives.

  • The role of LifeLine Western Cape is to create a safe space for people to share what is happening in their lives.

  • We believe that it is every person’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. We listen to the call of those who turn to us for comfort and support.

  • We offer non-judgemental, empathic, caring and non-directive counselling services. We are here to help callers and clients discover previously unknown inner resources with which to find constructive solutions to the problems they face. 

  • We believe in service to the community. We provide the facilities for people to train as LifeLine counsellors and offer them a wide variety of options to use their training to promote the well-being of our community.

  • We believe that the relationship that we have with ourselves creates the depth and quality of our interaction with others. Learning to accept, care for and develop that which lies within us results in continually improving communication with others.

  • We believe that the way in which we function in everyday life is to a large extent dependent on the quality of our relationships, be they family, social, business or community.

  • We are aware of the diverse social and cultural environment of the Western Cape and seek to meet the needs of all members of our community with compassion and a high degree of professionalism.

The Origins of lifeline

One evening in the 1960s, Alan Walker a Protestant clergyman, received a telephone call from a man who was so desperate that he said he had written a letter, outlining his intention to commit suicide.

The minister arranged to meet him the following Tuesday, but before the meeting could take place, he learned that Roy Brown had committed suicide. It was then that Alan Walker decided to start a telephone service that would offer support and hope to those in distress. LifeLine came into being in Sydney, Australia, in 1963.

Today LifeLine International has over 250 centres in 14 different countries, with 26 LifeLine centres being in Southern Africa.

On the 29th of January, 2003, the founder of LifeLine, Sir Alan Walker, died in Australia at the age of 91.

In November 1968 Reverend Peter Storey, after having been the director of LifeLine Sydney, returned to establish LifeLine Western Cape as the first LifeLine centre in Africa.  At 5 pm on 5 November 1968, the LifeLine telephone counselling service began in Cape Town when the telephone rang for the first time in the small office in Church Square.

"I initially enrolled in the personal growth course, purely because I wanted to be able to do the counselling skills course. I did not expect much. How wrong I was. 

It was a privilege to be able to partake in the personal growth course, for a few reasons. Firstly the course is designed in a very challenging yet very safe and comforting way. I was at all times encouraged to make the most of my time, but also never pressured or forced into uncomfortable situations. It became clear: whatever I do here, I do only for myself. And in order to grow I had to take the leap to be uncomfortable! The personal growth course is set up in a way that made it easier to challenge myself, because I was surrounded by supportive group members and facilitators.

That brings me to the other reason the personal growth course was a privilege - although your journey is for yourself and you determine what you get out of it, you do not go on this journey alone. I found myself initially in a group of strangers, and together we all explored what it means to help and be helped, to learn and teach, to be vulnerable and to be strong. Slowly my group of strangers became a group of comrades who shared something almost inexplicable, and definitely immeasurable. 

I walked out of the personal growth group a stronger and kinder person, having grown my self-confidence immeasurably as I learnt about myself, and grown my empathy and understanding as I learnt about others. I would recommend this course to any person at any time in their life. When I started the personal growth course, I was worried about adding another item to my to do list - little did I know that those weekly sessions would be the source of my strength for all the other things I had to do."

Philna van Veijeren,

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Stellenbosch