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YoL 2016 Pledge Board


Pledge your support to promote listening for better mental health in Scotland

To be added to the pledge board, email your Year of Listening quote with your first name or organisation.

Don't forget to take a look at our YoL Information Pack for ideas and materials to promote listening and listening skills.



"When hearing is the sense you absolutely rely on because you can't see, then you know the importance of listening; just as we know the importance of listening to what blind and partially sighted people tell us."


 RNIB Scotland Colour Logo


"We do what we do because we listen."


Red star



 "Listening is compassion in action."


 "My mum is a great listener, she deserves some   recognition!"

Green star



 In the words of a caller to the CHSS Advice Line:
"...There are times when we all need a friend who will not listen and criticise, but will understand the pain and frustration."

 CHSS logo

CHSS Advice Line Nurses
(UK Helpline of the Year)

 “The voice of those living with Huntington’s Disease often goes unheard and as we seek to improve support and services it is essential that we really listen to what is needed.”

 SHA logo

 “Listening well is as much about really understanding someone else’s experience and that’s so important when you are living with a rare condition like Huntington’s Disease.”

 Red star

Scottish Huntington's Association
Family Member


 “Listening to someone with Dementia will enable better understanding. It is also about hearing what is not being said.”

 Alz Scot

" Listening means having one mouth but two ears!"


 Green star



 "Listening carefully and providing support in response can help people to feel a stronger sense of connection, helping to support confidence and wellbeing."

 Scot Gov Healthier Scot logo

Jamie Hepburn MSP,
Minister for Sport, Health Improvement
and Mental Health

 “Listening is not about something you hear or see – it’s something you feel.”

 Blue star

Training Officer,
Deafblind Scotland

 "Actively listening to our patients and callers is crucial in providing a safe, effective service and a good patient/caller experience - it provides an excellent opportunity to learn and improve services for all." 

 NHS 24 Logo

Patient Affairs

"Listening means being treated as an individual."


Red star



 “It is important that people are listened to in all walks of life. People underestimate their importance in theirs, and others lives, and listening can help people feel validated. We all have something to say.”

 Stepping stones

John White
Services Manager

"Listening means knowing that someone has taken the time to listen."

 Blue star



 "There’s listening, then there’s LISTENING. Real attentive listening is a great gift you can give."

 John Birrell logo

  "Really listening can help end mental health discrimination."

 New See Me Logo (1)

 "Without my friends, who take time to listen to me in a non-judgemental manner when I need them, my mental health and wellbeing would deteriorate. We all need to listen and feel listened to."

 Green star




“Actively listening to students problems, whatever they may be, is what makes our jobs fulfilling, but also increases our ability to aid them, providing them with a positive student experience.”

 Uni of DundeeStudent Services

 "Listening means being heard."

Blue star


 "Listening is key to effective relationships at work. It can help create healthy, motivated and supportive workplaces. This Year of Listening consider how ‘really listening’ can improve your health, and the health of your organisation."

 HWL logo

 "Listening means caring enough to make time for me."


 Red star

Deborah, Inverclyde



 "45% of people with cancer say the emotional aspects are the most difficult to cope with. Giving people time and space to talk and be properly listened to, can ease some of that pain - I pledge to work to make that ambition a reality."


MacMillan logo

Janice Information and Support Programme Lead


"Listening means knowing that what I say matters."


 Green star




 “Hearing is not listening… listening is paying attention when someone is sharing.”

 Musiconprescr logo

 "Anybody listening to me makes me feel better."


 Red star



 "Listening means everything to me."


 Blue star

Isobel, Inverclyde


 "We don't just listen, we hear."


 MECOPP logo


MECOPP Gypsy/Traveller Carers’ Project 


 "I'm trying to be a better listener :)"



Blue star

Ainsley, Glasgow


 "Listening properly to someone is giving them the gift of your time and attention, and shows that you value them. You don't have to 'fix' them, however tempting it may be to try. They just need you to really listen."


Green star

NHS Tayside


 "Learning to listen will help you to learn more about the people in your life."


 Blue star

Mario, Glasgow


"Listening for me is about acknowledging what someone is trying to tell me."

 Green star

Carla, Tayside



“We are here to listen in a safe and supportive online environment”



Burdett Trust LogoNHS Lothian LogoBeat Logo

Eating disorder
transitions project,
Edinburgh & the Lothians 



"Listening for me is essential to good mental health - a problem shared is a problem halved."


 Blue star

Geoff, Tayside



 “Listening is at the heart of counselling and all talking therapies.”


 PF counselling logo



"Listening for me is about eye contact and body language."

 Red star




 “No matter the problem, Poppyscotland offers a listening ear to members of the Armed Forces community. Active listening allows us to determine the often complex concerns of our clients, and better enables us to provide effective, practical, support.”


 Ps Portrait No Soh High Res 1024X607


 “Effective listening involves observing body language and noticing inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal messages.  This is normal day to day practice at The State Hospital.”


 Nhs Scot Logo Rgb

James Crichton, Chief Executive,
The State Hospital


“Sports coaches are trained to see everyone as individuals, communicate and listen. From that relationships form, then trust develops leading to sharing and of course a problem shared is a problem halved.“


 200Px Invernessshinty

Inverness Shinty Clubs
Development Team

 "Everyone experiences ups and downs in life and SCARF wants to make sure our staff can get support."

Thumbnail Scarf Logo

Thane Lawrie,
Chief Executive

 "Listening means self discipline and concentration."

 Blue star


"Listening is giving someone the opportunity to open up without felling judged or scruitinised."


Green star





"Every important conversation starts with good listening."


Strathclyde University
Football Club


 "Being properly listened to makes someone feel valued."


Red star 





"Listening makes people feel cared about, speaking about problems is the start of overcoming problems." 

 Blue star


 "We are here to listen when you are ready to talk."


 Kate Mitchell Cruse Logo Strapline Cmyk


 "Listening means concentration, empathy and it's important!"



Red star



"Having a presence is important for listening."




Virgin Trains



 "Listening is supporting - just being there."



 Green star

East Renfrewshire



 "Listening means taking time for people and being in the moment."



Thumbnail Cica Logo

Catherine Carson



 "Listening is at the heart of what Samaritans is here to do.  People contact us to listen when things are getting to them and we are always here, round the clock, every single day of the year."


 Thumbnail Samaritans Scotland

James Jopling,
Executive Director for Scotland



 "Listening means giving individuals the opportunity to air and view their issues."


Sfrs Logo 
Allan Brown


 "Listening means that the person you are listening to knows that they matter."


 Hmcts Logo

Joanne Hethering,
HMCTS/PCS Union Learning Rep



 "Listening means allowing people to create a space to tell you how they feel."



 Glasgowcaledonianuniversity Logo

David Brewster,
UK Student Recruitment



 "Listening means understanding how others feel."



Virgin Trains



 "Listening means learning, understanding and connecting to others."



Blue star 




"All our senses can be used to listen, let’s use them to their full effect to be there for others when they need to communicate how they feel. Being heard can help more than you know so when someone needs to talk listen. Listening compassionately shows we care."


 Cope Scotland logo


 “We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.”  We pledge to continue to develop our skills to ensure we actively listen to each other!"


 LAMH Logo


 “Listening to peoples experiences can change lives”


 Vox Scotland Logo (3)



 "Too many people keep things to themselves when feeling low, anxious and stressed - as a holistic therapist I see these symptoms a lot with my clients and I want to encourage people to open up. Living Life is a fabulous service and I'm pledging to listen more and educate on the importance of sharing feelings."

Louise Harkiss Logo


"Listening allows me to meet that person for real."

 Logos For Maggies Cancer Care

Stuart Danskin,

"It's great to be listened to."


Nhsggc 600X600 400X400

Christine Tait,




"Listening encompasses what we do here at Cancer Support Scotland."


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Gwen Mosson



 "Listening, to me, means me being there as an ear for people and friends to share their problems and stories with."

 Activetravelhubayr Logo

Active Travel Hub, Ayr




"Listening means having the opportunity to join a person where they are at on their journey."

Aa 2Col

Lindsay O'Donnell 


 "Listening, to me, means actively hearing the person or being heard."


Aa 2Col

 Adelle Still


 "Listening is the most important part of communication. You have two ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as often as you speak."


Aa 2Col 

Ian Collins,
Patient representative



 "Listening means being there when someone needs to talk."


 Police Scotland Logo

Police Scotland 




 "Listening means being there for other people - and learning something about yourself."



 Nahscp Logo

Daniella Rossi,
Community Connector




 "Listening is the biggest gift that we have to give to another person."



Thumbnail Chris27s House Logo 

Paul Mori




 "Listening means keeping people safe."


Police Scotland Logo

Police Scotland




 "Empathy unites the act of listening to words with hearing an individual's meaning. We all deserve to be heard equally without exception, anything less is disabling."



Biss Ability Counselling Services



"Listening, really listening, means being in the privileged position of being trusted to hear the person."



Thumbnail Chris27s House Logo

Anne Rowan 


 “Listening for me is allowing someone the time and space to speak and feel they have the opportunity to truly discuss what is important. It is unobtrusive, it is active, it is non-judgemental, it is listening!!”


Da Logo

Barry Carmichael





"Listening means being there in an empathetic and supportive way without a need for anything in return." 



Rachael Benson




"To listen you have to be able to hear! Our organisation helps to facilitate that." 



 1Ksn Clp

Donna McSwiggan




 "Listening means knowing what the person wants! Listen to what they are saying and try to understand from their point of view and then you can support/ help if needed!"



Yvette Cuthbertson


"Listening means more when you hear what they are not saying."



 Carenaorg Uk 144 300X273

George Ruddick and Victoria McLeod



"Listening means we are aware of the thoughts and views of others throughout our communities."




Kaileigh Brown and Agnes Smith



"Listening means I can support the person in the best possible way."

Unity Logo 125

David Weir


'Listening to music can really help a person get in touch with their emotions. Music can contribute greatly to a positive mental health journey.' 

Thumbnail Empire Logo

 "A smile can be heard over the phone."

 GHH Logo

 “The gift of effective listening is timeless in a fast changing world. This has huge appeal.”

Course Participant

 Listen Well Logo

 "We bring people out of isolation and encourage them to talk about how they feel! We will strive to become better listeners!"

 Serenity Logo

Carlie and Viv

 “Listening values the individual.  Its at the heart of what we do in our community centre”

 Merkinch Community Centre Logo

Elsie, Inverness

 “Listening is very important when supporting victims of crime.  Being heard,  understood and having a feeling of being listened to is key to many victims’ of crime recovery.”


 "It can be very difficult for survivors of sexual violence to speak about what happened so providing a safe space on the Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline and actively listening is a real privilege. Listening to survivors individual experiences and offering non judgemental support can make a huge difference to callers, knowing that you are not alone, that you have been believed and that you can heal from trauma can greatly assist recovery."

RCS Logo 

 “Listening is hard work but if you are doing it well it should feel this way. Being listened to means that the other person needs to trust what you’re saying. We build trust in relationships by being honest with each other. The best way to get someone to listen to you is to let them know you are listening to them.”

SCCR Logo - Blue - Small 2 

 "Listening helps us to understand the needs of others around us."

 Green Star

Christopher Fountain

 "Listening is an active process – not passive."

 Blue star

Margaret Kerrigan, 
CMHT Practical Support

 "Listening is trying to hear hidden thoughts of the person and identifying their mood."

 SOBS Logo

Anna, Renfrewshire

 "Listen and try to understand. Watching mood helps."

 Red star


 "Opening up and listening is the best way to positive communication."

 Renfrewshire Council

John Russell

 "Listening is one of the most important things. If you can change someone's life from listening, its a huge achievement. Phonelines such as Breathing Space are vital."

Renfrewshire Council

Depute Provost Councillor John Caldwell 

 "Life is precious and to battle through the dark days is harder than when an army fights in battle."

Blue star

Wee Buddies Walking Football Team 

 "Écouter, c'est laisser à l'autre le temps et l'espace dont il a besoin pour se comprendre."

  Green Star (1)


 "Listening means being prepared to put myself in someone else's shoes and seeing an issue, or a need, from a fresh angle."

 NHS24 Logo

Angiolina Foster,
Chief Executive NHS 24

 "We will believe you. We will listen to you. We will support you."

Blue star

Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre 

 "Listening to me means simply being a 'safe place' where people can open up without fear of being judged."

  Red star

Derek Ferguson,
Mental Health Network, NHS GGC


 "Listening means that I understand someone else's perspective. In the context of mental health, it's particularly important to listen without judging. Everyone is entitled to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that is meaningful to them."

NHS Health Scotland Small

Paul Gray, 
Director-General Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland


 "Listening to me means more than just hearing words, it means understanding the individual needs of the person to provide a solution or advice where appropriate."


 Police Scotland Logo

Ross Preston,
Police Scotland

 “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes  to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill.

 BTP Logo

D-Division Community Safety Bureau

 'As a carer, I find listening and being listened too are important for the physical wellbeing of those being cared for, and for the mental wellbeing of those doing the caring'.

 Blue starDougie

 "Listening means clearing a space in your thoughts to allow you to completely focus on what a person is saying."

 PK Council

Wellbeing Support Team Aberfeldy


 "COSCA’s vision is: a listening, caring society that values people’s well-being."



"It’s about hearing their voice, their dreams, hopes and aspirations, and experiencing that real person and what matters to them."

Penumbra Logo

Self Directed Support
Recovery Practitioner,
West Area

 "Having somebody listen can mean a lot when you are exhausted"

Sleep Scotland Logo (100 Px)


 "To listen well is to hear what is being said truly – to hear where the person is speaking from, their story, how they are feeling, the emotion of what they are saying. To be a storyteller worth my salt I have to develop a good listening ear. To listen is to connect with people's lives, stories and with the earth, the birds, the wind, trees – to take a moment to listen to the natural world impartial – like taking a breath and relaxing."

 Green star

Claire Hewitt

 "Too often we underestimate the power listening can have for someone. It is so important to feel you have been heard for your sense of self. To listen can make the difference between life and death. It should never be underestimated."

 Plus Perth

Jenny Stuart 

 "If only more people would listen, the world would be a better place – listening formulates understanding."

 Red star

T McNeill,

 "If someone truly listens to me I'll tell them everything I feel. This in turn clears my thoughts ready to start afresh."

Green star

Jackie S,


 "A cherished friend will always be a good listener. One who hears, sees."

 Blue star

Pamela Youlin


 "Through playing audio books I've noticed when I'm hearing without listening. I lose the plot – I think listening involves paying heed to more than sounds. We sort of listen with our eyes when talking with other people. It brightens up the day when one is listened to."

 Red star




 "Listening via eyes and watching facial and physical emotions shows that BSL person signing is being appreciated, accepted, supported, being understood."


 Blue star
Paul, Glasgow


 "Listening plays a very important role in my job. Being there to listen to others can give them great support and helps them to feel valued and that their thoughts count and matter. Listening to someone and allowing them to speak without interruptions shows great respect. Being able to listen is a great feeling whether listening to others, hearing the wind or rain can help with all the stressful situations that we deal with on a daily basis. Everyone should take time daily to listen to others, we are sometimes too busy and it can make a huge difference to others."

Green star

Debbie, Pitlochry 


 "Listening is not only hearing what people are saying but taking it in, understanding it and appreciating it, whether it is good or bad. When people listen to me I feel important and valued, and when I listen to others, I want them to feel the same."

  Blue star



 "If you pay attention and listen to people you can sometimes learn a lot, and help others."

 Red star



 "Listening is caring, sharing, learning, experiencing, laughter, silence and love."


Green star



 "Listening is to give your time to give someone a part of your life for a couple of minutes, days, months or years! Listening is making a connection with another person, an animal or even yourself. Listen to those around you and you will be a part of that larger picture. Listening is one of the most important characteristics of being!"

  Red star




"Listening is a word often used but only practised  by a few.
It means you must also be thinking about the person talking
rather than yourself. Think about what they are saying and
what it may mean to them rather than what it would mean
to you. Listening is to demonstrate care and respect for another person."


Blue star

Debbie, Perth College


 "Hearing is not listening. Listening takes effort and consideration.
Absorb and reflect whilst listening. You cannot plan your next meal
whilst listening."


Red starPam,

Perth College 

 "I do like to listen,
And like being listened to.
'Cause I could talk for Scotland
About the things I do
There are so many things to hear
Though sometimes they are missed.
Because you hear them all the time
(I could make a list)
Like bird song you're so used to
'Cause its there every day
And other sounds you only miss
When they have gone away."

 Green star

Bob D

 "Listening is not just waiting for your turn to talk."

 Green star


 ''How do we know each other if we do not listen? Listen with
your heart, your eyes and your intelligence as well as your ears.
I tell you so much without words. Listen to me. All of me."


 Blue star



 "Listening combined with use of the power of observation can
be the most effective and useful way of realisign effective and appropriate communication. Think. Engage Brain. Open mouth."

Red star



 "If you had no computers, if you had no door on your office, wards could be a different place. Staff would have to talk to patients when they came for help. No longer would it be in a minute, in a minute. How much medication would be saved? How many lives saved? Patients first? Choose life? Choose listening."

Blue star



 "Listening could mean knowledge."

Red star

Duncan C,


 "Listening is a very important part of communication."

 Green star



 "Listening for me makes me feel that someone cares, someone is taking the time to hear me and my thoughts. Sometimes listening to someone unload their thoughts is all they need, to be heard and to know that they are worth listening to."

 Blue star


 "Taking time to let a person talk to you without interference. Letting them get any worries of issues off their shoulders."

 Red star


 "Listening is a huge part of my job. People often say they appreciate being lsitened to so they can offload whatever their concern is. Listening is active, showing that you understand but not necessarily providing an answer or judgement. Just being here listening can be very helpful for some."

Green star 



 "Listening means concentrating on what you can hear or choose to hear. If you are interested in anything, tell them you will listen."

 Blue star

East Kilbride


 "Just because someone's listening to you doesn't mean they will really hear you."

 Red star




"Listening is a way to open up our mind for other perspectives. Sometimes our minds are screaming so loud we can't hear anything else. Then it's a great thing to just listen."



Green star



 "What does listening mean to me? Listening can be positive. I love listening to the sea – especially in a storm. The power and anger of the waves has a calming effect on me. The rustle of leaves in the wind is a soft and gentle energy which lifts my spirit. Music is listen to often reflects my mood or is an attempt to lift my mood! However, listening should also be about hearing. We all want to be heard. Too often hearing what is being said does not happen! I find it hard work hearing what is being said or process it too slowly, which can come across as not caring or cold, which is not the case. We all need to work on hearing what is being said."

 Blue star




 "I love listening to silence anywhere but especially in remote places. The person who listens to me is my best friend of 30+ years, I think it is an amazing skill which I aspire to."


 Red star



 "I have recently been going through some troubles and have found that those that listen are a God-send."


Green star




 "Listening is when you sit on top of a hill and listen for total silence nothing at all."


 Blue star




 "Listening is hearing the sounds you hear. Observing what you see. Smelling and feeling whats around you. Listening isn't just about hearing. It's about using all our senses and being ware what is going on around us. Take heed – pay attention."

  Red star