The Listening Service
The Listening Service at Dauntsey's started 15 years ago.
We have 28 volunteer listeners ranging from those in the Fourth Form to Upper Sixth pupils. Each volunteer receives a number of training sessions, plus a one-to-one interview, led by one of our counsellors. The training sessions focus on issues surrounding safeguarding and confidentiality, they give guidance on how to provide support and when to refer pupils to a counsellor or a member of the pastoral team. Each listener is assigned a buddy within the group so that there is someone with whom they can discuss individual cases and agree the best course of action. Nobody is left to deal with anything on their own.
Listeners wear a silver badge on their jacket or blazer to help identify them. Posters are displayed around the school with contact details for all the listeners, along with the school safeguarding leads and counsellors. Pupils can chat to listeners anywhere in the school and there is also a small meeting room dedicated to the service where they are able to meet. Topics vary widely, but often relate to stress and anxiety, homesickness and friendship issues. These can often be dealt with by the listener, but staff will step in if necessary. The listeners are helpful in feeding back to us on common threads that might emerge.
Our main objective is to provide a safe space where anyone can come and talk to us. We won't tell them what to do but talking about things can make a real difference. We sometimes feel we have nipped a problem in the bud just by having a conversation.
- Ben, Upper Sixth Student Listener