Annual Report from The Manager of The Listening Place Thursday, 10th October 2019 at Salisbury Methodist Church -7pm for 7.15 pm
Last year the Rev James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College, regrettably had to cancel his evening with us as speaker. Consequently a Question Time chaired by Rev David Hookins with a panel of 4 Listeners was substituted. It was a home grown affair but I think well received. What came out of it was that we needed to spend time together, discussing the issues we face and particularly our strategy for moving forward over the next 5 years.
An issue faced was the provision of service at St Michael, Bemerton. The change in opening times made filling the rota , and as staffing SMC properly was our priority, sadly we had to suspend the service. Thankfully, listening, not formally associated with TLP is able to be offered still at St Michael's as part of their outreach work.
A Prayer, Praise and Planning Day was held at Bemerton Methodist Church in April. It was well attended by our team of listeners. Three clear goals came out of our day together, which were to:
- Seek further avenues for Listening and, in particular to pursue an approach from Salisbury Medical Practice.
- Promote 'listening' and The Listening Place more widely.
- Continue to pray and seek God's guidance.
The new method of planning for and recording of listening session metrics has been highly successful. Coupled with the use of the Ipad, and the new telephone system, team members are better informed of what to expect and it is easier for the Management Team to analyse data to support decision making. In addition, mobility of the phone provides greater flexibility in meeting the need for quiet and/or confidentiality when necessary. That is very much what we required, thank you SMc for 'listening' to us!
Looking at the Record sheets, what you can see is that
- The number of sessions offered is down (no longer at Bemerton)
- The take up rate of offered sessions has not changed significantly.
- The pattern of listening continues to change particularly between formal and informal listening. In the 2017 some 40% of listenings were formal, falling to 30% in 2018 and 18% now. However, the proportion of new to repeat clients remains much the same at around 50/50.
On the people front, two Listeners have resigned -- we already miss them -- but we have some Training courses in place where we hope to be able to recruit more Listeners for TLP. Not only are Listeners needed to resource core SMc sessions, they are also needed to provide a pool to resource Salisbury Medical Practice and other potential future demands. With the fall in numbers of formal listenings, we also need to ensure that all team members get sufficient 'actual' or practise listening sessions to remain 'current'.
On the admin front, I am pleased to say that all our Listening Team are up to date with safeguarding and DBS. A huge thank you on behalf of everyone involved to achieve this.
Finally, I want to particularly thank the Welcome Area Team of volunteers. They are often the first point of contact when someone walks through the door. SMc is known as a safe place and we have more than a few vulnerable adults who use our services and that of the coffee bar area. People don't always need advice, often all they really need is eye contact, an ear to listen and a heart to understand them. The use of the tables in the Welcome area for informal listening is working well. The help of our colleagues serving that day means that all can be accommodated. Thank you.
The Listening Place has been operating now for 15 years and this is because of our team of valued Listeners. This successful service would not be possible without the dedication, commitment, and compassion they have as they volunteer. Thank you.
Thought for the Day? Take a moment to:
- Assess how you listen?
- Who You always listen to?
- Who You rarely listen to?
- Who listens to You?
- Who You want to listen to You?