Listening Ears University of Greenwich

Listening Ears are trained staff volunteers who provide confidential support to students from any part of the university.

They offer an informal and confidential support service for issues relating to welfare, equality and diversity, and bullying and harassment (including on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, sex and sexual orientation)

Listening Ears have an important role in assisting students to identify ways of resolving potential problems informally, and in signposting to other support services.

Although they are not trained counsellors, Listening Ears are provided with training to help them undertake the role.

Listening Ears come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have a huge range of life experience. They can help you work through concerns you may have, or issues you may be facing, during your stay at university.

Any contact between you and Listening Ears will be confidential, unless you ask Listening Ears to tell your tutors, your department or an office in the university.

Who Are the Listening Ears and how can they Be contacted?

Listening Ears are members of staff who volunteer their own time to help make the University a safe and productive environment in which to work and study. Listening Ears come from a variety of roles and levels across the University.

Listening Ears can be contacted through an online referral form.  

You will be asked within the form to indicate the type of issue you are experiencing. A Listening Ear considered to be most appropriate will then be allocated. If you have particular requests about the type of Listening Ear you would prefer to see, please include this within the 'additional details' section of the form.

Listening Ears can...

  • Provide a supportive, confidential environment in which to discuss problems
  • Support those seeking advice in making decisions that are right for them and their situation
  • Provide information on the options that are available
  • Assist in empowering the individual to make independent decisions
  • Empathise without judgement
  • Signpost to other professional support across the university, or external support services.

Listening Ears cannot...

  • Persuade those seeking advice to do anything they don't want to do
  • Make decisions for individuals or 'fix' their situation;Take action on behalf of the individual
  • Provide counselling
  • Give directional advice
  • Meet with individuals outside of office hours or outside of the University premises.

Examples of how Listening Ears can help you

These fictional case studies demonstrate how a Listening Ear could help you.


John had suffered a family bereavement that was affecting his studies. The Listening Ear provided him with information about counselling that he could receive both inside and outside of the university. The Listening Ear also spoke to John's tutors on his behalf about the extenuating circumstances that were affecting his studies.


Jade was pregnant and on a nursing placement that required heavy lifting. Worried that being pregnant was affecting her studies, she wanted to withdraw. The Listening Ear arranged to meet Jade, explained the options that were available to her and alleviated her concerns about studying whilst pregnant.

The Listening Ear also spoke to Jade's placement provider and arranged for her to concentrate more on blood pressure and vital signs during her work placement, so that she would not have to move patients or lift heavy boxes. When Jade returned to university following the birth of her baby, her Listening Ear was on hand to discuss her new dual role of parent and student.


Ayesha telephoned anonymously, wanting advice on bullying and harassment as she felt she had been excluded from her study group.

The Listening Ear advised Ayesha to speak to her tutor and also arranged confidential harassment counselling for her.

I have requested a Listening Ear via the online referral form - when will I be contacted?

We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 5 working days.

Counselling Services

Remember, if you need to speak to someone more urgently, as a student you can contact your local student centre, or as a member of staff, you should contact your line manager. Both staff and students can also arrange to see a member of the University Counselling Team.

Counselling services

Including one-to-one sessions, positive-thinking workshops and email counselling.

Contact the Listening Ears

Listening Ears Request Form

If you would like to speak to a Listening Ear please fill in out this short request form.