Welcome to the
Listening Post Barrie November 2022 Newsletter
We have created this newsletter as a way to
share our story with you. This month we want to introduce you to a new volunteer, Cheryl ...where she is listening and why it is important to her.
Here is some feedback from our listener Cheryl:
How has your experience been while volunteering with the Listening Post?
"My experience with the Listening Post has been wonderful. Each shift I set my intentions just to be in the present moment. With this approach I experience a perfect unfolding of deep listening opportunities. I feel great stillness, contentment, and peace."
What does listening mean to you?
"Listening means to hear with your ears. Deep listening means compassionate understanding and human connection."
What kind of impact do you think has for people who come to be heard?
"I've witnessed an incredible impact on the residents of Elizabeth Fry through our service: Special, positive feelings, validation, acceptance, being supported, safe, understood, and healing."
What’s Our Mission?
The root of our mission is growing listening as a core value for our community, by nurturing listeners through deep listening training and creating spaces in Barrie where everyone can be heard one-on-one with compassion and respect.
We offer face-to-face deep listening in Barrie, Ontario, Canada at various sites (details below). Visitors can come with their life experiences to share or for a simple quiet time in a safe accepting space that offers compassionate presence.
"I'm glad there's someone there to just listen.
It's hard to find someone to listen."
- K. at Elizabeth Fry Joyce Cope House
The Listening Post volunteers complete deep-listening training in small groups to strengthen and practice their listening skills. However, anyone can take training and receive a certificate of completion. There is a separate additional screening process for those who would like to be Listeninng Post volunteers in the community. We have made a commitment that finances never be a barrier to folks accessing training, hence registration is only by donation (suggested amount $50). If you know someone who is interested, they can email us at email@example.com.
Community Listening Training
Various community groups and agencies can access our listening training as well. We have offered adapted and shortened listening education sessions to staff and volunteers at locations such as Barrie Public Library, The Gilbert Centre, Hospice Simcoe and Couchiching Jubilee House. Please share this opportunity with any groups you think would like to receive a version of listening training.
Where Are Listening?
As of November 2022, our active listening sites and schedules are:
Busby Centre Emergency Shelter
Elizabeth Fry Society Emergency Shelter
Saturdays and Sundays
Barrie Public Library Downtown Location
Tuesdays from 1:30 pm-3:30 pm & Saturdays from 12:30 pm-2:00 pm
Painswick Public Library
Mondays from 1-2:30 pm
Ryan's Hope Breakfast to Go
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings 8-9 am
Aspira Waterford Retirement Residence
Mondays from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Feedback from Listeners
"My Listening this week at Lucy's place was humbling and humanizing.
Everyone is going through something.
There is so much I am learning every time I go"
-M (Listening Post volunteer, October 2022)
2 New Listening Locations!
We have 2 new listening locations! Our first new Listening location which started in September is Lucy's Place. Lucy's Place is an innovative motel conversion, creating a Housing First community out of an old motel for those experiencing chronic (long-term) homelessness. A Partnership with the David Busby Street Centre, this project offers staff support for those call this place home. Recently, those who live here voted to have Listening Post volunteers come into their home to offer our open hearts for listening. We had been waiting for this moment! We are thrilled to have received such a welcome into this community and are extremely excited to be providing 2 listening shifts each week.
Aspira Waterford Retirement Residence
Our second new listening location which began at the beginning of October is at the Aspira Waterford Retirement Residence. We have 2 of our newer listeners volunteering on Monday's from 10 AM - 12 PM every week. Listening at this location offers us a chance to communicate to seniors who may be isolated just how valuable they are and allows them to expereince the human connection that comes from heart to heart listening.
If you are interested in listening at any of these locations or know of a community agency that you think may benefit from a listening post
on site please reach out to us.
October feedback...from someone heard
"It doesn't feel like people want to hear about what's going on in my life. When I saw the Listening Post, I was excited to be heard because I'm very lonely. I was scared, nervous, and afraid at first because mental illness is hard when people don't understand.
I feel like the [volunteers] at the Listening Post understand me, because some people don't understand me at all. Some stuff is good to talk about and some is hard, but I like that the Listening Post cares about what's going on."
-J at Downtown Barrie Public Library, October 2022
What is New?
We have a placement student!
We would like to welcome Jordyn, our first ever placement student at the Listening Post. She began with us in September and is currently in her last semester in the social service worker program at Georgian College. Jordyn has a passion for being a mental health advocate in the community which is why she is very excited to be volunteering with the Listening Post. She is currently listening at many of our listening locations, assisting with social media management, creating posters, and our newsletter. We are so thrilled to have her at the Listening Post and we truly believe she has become and will continue to be an incredible asset to our organization and to the wider community. We are excited to see what else she will bring to the Listening Post during her placement with us.
"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of
feeling safe with a person;
having neither to weigh thoughts nor to measure words
but to pour them all out, just as it is..."
-Mary Ann Evans