Lifeline South Coast’s Big Book Fair returns to the Illawarra Sports Stadium in Berkeley today for the final day of the four-day event.

The book fair, which runs each year in March and October, is the major fundraising event for Lifeline’s 24-hour suicide prevention and crisis support services in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, and South Coast.

Lifeline South Coast CEO Renee Green said the community support is to thank for the event’s incredible success.

“We have great support from the community providing us the donations to sell at the book fair and then great support again from people coming as customers to purchase a whole heap of books,” Ms Green said.

“Thursday night’s opening night and across the four days, we expect probably around 7000 people to come through the doors.

“We will absolutely be continuing [the event] for the foreseeable future.”

The Lifeline Big Book Fair holds over 8500 books at each event, all sorted into 80 different categories across fiction and non-fiction.

Illawarra resident and Big Book Fair attendee Melissa Coban said the event is a good way to give back to an organisation that provides a vital support system for the community.

“It feels good walking away with a bag full of books knowing the money you have spent is going to be used in a positive way,” Ms Coban said.

“As well as going to a good cause, recycling all these books is a great way to reduce waste while promoting reading to people of all ages.

“When I’m finished with the books I got today, I plan to donate them back and re-stock next year.”

The Big Book Fair held in March this year generated $185,000, and there is hope sales will reach similar numbers this month to continue supporting the volunteers working across the Lifeline service.

If you know someone who might be having a difficult time, please reach out to them and encourage them to seek help.

Please call Lifeline anytime on 13 11 14.