The Listening Place
1136. Sarah Anderson
Sarah Anderson CBE, from London is the founder and CEO of ‘The Listening Place’, a charity which supports people at high risk of suicide by providing ongoing face-to-face listening appointments, seven days a week.
After almost four decades volunteering in the sector, Sarah established the charity in 2015 after recognising there was a lack of face-to-face support for individuals with chronic suicidal feelings. ‘The Listening Place’ provides people at risk of suicide a safe place they can regularly visit and talk freely and confidently to trained, specialist volunteers. Today, the charity has received over 2,500 referrals from over 90 partner organisations including 60% from the NHS. It is staffed by 342 active volunteers who support over 1500 visitors. Evaluations have shown that there has been a highly significant decrease in self-reported distress and suicidal feelings amongst long-term regular visitors, who are supported by the charity.
In a personal letter to Sarah, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘The Listening Place’ you are giving people access to face-to-face support, seven days a week, when they are at their most vulnerable. You should feel enormously proud of your work and how it is helping people when they need it most.”
Mark Field, MP for Westminster, said:
“I am delighted to learn that my constituent Sarah Anderson CBE has been recognised with a Points of Light award for her outstanding voluntary work through the Listening Place.
“’The Listening Place’ carries out invaluable work, supporting those at high risk of suicide by offering face-to-face listening appointments, providing a safe place for people to visit to talk openly and freely to trained, specialist volunteers. ‘The Listening Place’ has seen thousands of visitors and evidence has shown that there has been significant decrease in self-reported distress and suicidal feelings amongst long-term regular visitors, who are supported by the charity. This goes to show the immense value of the work being undertaken by Sarah and ‘The Listening Place’ in the heart of my constituency in central London.
“Many congratulations once more to Sarah for receiving this well-deserved award, recognising the tremendous and important work she carries out.”
“I am just one of over 400 volunteers at ‘The Listening Place’ and I am delighted, on behalf of every one of them, to be named a Point of Light. They give so generously of both their time, and their compassion, to support those who are in feel life is no longer worth living. And I believe that so many ‘points of light’ can sometimes make someone’s dark day seem a little brighter.”