Support during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Listening Ear has seen lots of changes since it began supporting people 25 years ago – but none has been quite as dramatic as those of the last three months.
Our reputation for one-to-one and group counselling has grown to the point where we now receive over 2,000 referrals seeking support for children, young people and adults a year.
When Covid-19 struck, Listening Ear had to completely transform the way we operate – the vast majority of our services were face-to-face or group based, and lockdown and social distancing meant we couldn’t continue in that way.
Deputy CEO Jayne Hobin-Wright said: “Back in March we started our planning and thought ‘how are we going to see all these people?’ We knew we needed to provide the same services but over the telephone and video conferencing.” This meant developing new safeguarding procedures and secure systems that would allow counsellors to support people whilst working from home.
This has been a traumatic period for many people, and our referrals have continued. All of our referrals are now taken online. “The level of engagement with adults and children is really good. We’ve scheduled 2487 appointments for people since 23rd March 2020,” says Jayne. “We have more than 50 children already using the service in this new way. We moved our services to telephone, FaceTime and Zoom.”
Covid-19 also meant Listening Ear wasn’t able to effectively supervise student counsellors who volunteered with us. Thankfully, support from organisations like the Steve Morgan Foundation, Liverpool Cares and the Charities Aid Foundation has meant we’ve been able to replace our volunteers with paid staff so we continue our service as before and clients can still be offered support. “It’s made a massive difference and we’re very grateful,” says Jayne.
Pictured above is Dave Robson, a counsellor who is normally based at our Whiston Centre. Dave said: “Young people have adapted really well to using the service in this new way, and it’s great to be able to continue working with clients during these difficult times.”
Listening Ear has also launched an appeal to the public to support its work. If you can help, donations can be made via www.listening-ear.co.uk/donate.