Listening Ears was established in 2006, out of a heartfelt concern about the level of isolation and loneliness, observed mostly amongst elderly people in the community especially those who have become hard to reach or are being marginalised due to illness, disability, bereavement or other forms of social disadvantage.
Our initial response was to provide a drop-in service with a very relaxed friendly atmosphere offering light refreshments alongside engaging and interactive activities. Through this we created opportunities for sharing and talking through issues, encouraged the building of new friendships and offered guidance and referrals for specialised support where necessary.
The focus of our vision is improved wellbeing which is a positive state of mind that enables a person to function effectively within society. Individuals who have good mental health are well-adjusted to society, are able to relate well to others, and basically feel satisfied with themselves and their role in society.
Listening Ears strongly believes that wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It is a complex combination of a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors. Wellbeing is strongly linked to happiness and satisfaction and consequently how people feel about themselves.
We are convinced that feelings of wellbeing are fundamental to the overall health of an individual, enabling them to successfully overcome difficulties and achieve what they want out of life. Past experiences, attitudes and outlook can all impact wellbeing as can physical or emotional trauma following specific incidents.
We are people-focused and passionate to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and families in pursuance of the purpose of setting up our charity. Since October 2006, Listening Ears has been actively working within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, delivering projects and activities around identified areas of need within the community with remarkable achievements in changing lives through the following projects:
- Feel Good Centres: Social gatherings that focus on reducing isolation, particularly among the over 50s and the elderly. Currently, we have three drop-in sessions running every week in Abbeywood and Thamesmead.
- Community Angels: Volunteer-led befriending service through home visits and telephone calls to provide companionship for the bereaved.
- Rosebud Centre: is a project dedicated to supporting, empowering and nurturing young girls in their journey to womanhood
- Steps2Living: Through this project, we organise workshops and trainings to enlighten and empower local members of the community to take small steps of change to achieve improved health & total well-being
- Food Bank: We have been selected as the Front of the Shop Charity for Sainsbury’s Abbey Wood. We recycle the non-perishable food donations that we receive to support underprivileged members of our community with the provision of food items, clothing and other essential daily needs through our community food bank
We are committed to making positive differences within people and this has informed the commitment and dedication with which each of our projects are planned, managed and delivered with the wellbeing of our service users at the core. The impact of the positive changes we have achieved in the community has earned us a lot of awards and recognitions over the years including the award for the Best Community Based Business in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and the Greenwich Civic Award for the reduction of isolation.