What is it?

One2One Listening is setting up safe places, in and around Preston, where people can meet with a trained listener in a safe, welcoming, accepting and inclusive environment.

Who is it for?

Anyone over 18 who might want to talk to someone about particular life issues including bereavement, financial worries, loneliness, relationship problems, health concerns, anxiety, stress etc.

Why is it important?

It’s important because we live in a busy, noisy, hectic world where people are crying out ‘help no-one is listening to me.’ It’s important because people often struggle to find someone who will give them the time and space to really listen to them. It’s important because statistics show that talking therapies are beneficial to people’s health and well-being and can often prevent people from reaching crises but can also help in times of crisis.  It’s important because when people are listened to they feel respected, valued, loved, significant, empowered and helped.

Who is developing One2One Listening?

A group of people from Christian churches in Preston have been working on the project for over 2 years, supported by Acorn Christian Healing Foundation.  During that time the group have run 5 courses in basic listening skills for 75 people across Preston and surrounding areas.  They are now running advanced listening courses and also courses to train those who might offer to be listeners for the project.  3 people have trained to be tutors so that the project can provide a rolling programme of listening training each year.  They have been working on how and where to provide safe listening spaces, how to safeguard listeners and those listened to, structures for supporting the project, a code of ethics and communication and publicity for the project.

Where and when will One2One Listening Start?

It will start at Central Methodist Church because over 1000 people from a diverse range of backgrounds and beliefs access the building each week and informal listening already takes place.  There is also a safe and appropriate space already available to use for the listening.  The first listening spaces will be offered during the day while The Olive Grove Coffee Shop is open, from September 2016.

However the bigger vision is to develop One2One Listening will have spaces across the city in healthcare agencies and doctors surgeries, in the university and in civic buildings, as well as in churches and charitable organisations.

How is it different to counselling or The Samaritans?

Unlike the Samaritans, the listening will always be face to face. The model of listening will involve summarising and repeating the speakers own words and asking 3 set questions at the end of a listening session.  It isn’t counselling as the skills and tools of counselling won’t be used in the listening sessions. However referrals and signposting to other agencies, including counselling services, may be appropriate.

Who will the listeners be?

The listeners will be people who have completed modules 1, 2 and 3 of a listening course by Acorn Christian Healing Foundation and who have been assessed as having the necessary skills to listen appropriately to others.   Listeners will have been interviewed and recruited through the Methodist Church’s Safer Recruitment Process and will be managed and supervised by One2One Listening Project management.

Is it Christian?

One2One listening is open to people of all faiths and none. However the belief system behind One2One Listening is Christian, in that it stems from an understanding of a God who listens to and loves, accepts, welcomes and cares for the individual.