Listening charity set to close as larger charity takes on volunteers

10 May 2024 News

By wedninth, Adobe

Listening charity Listen Well Scotland is set to close, while some of its services become part of Change Mental Health.

The charity, which has been providing listening training and services across Scotland since 2013, requested Change Mental Health provide a home for the continued delivery of its services.

It asked the larger charity to incorporate its CPD accredited training and listening services, along with its personnel and 16 registered volunteers. 

Change Mental Health said it will continue the delivery of this work and upskill all of its staff in listening skills.

Work to continue 

Linda Harding, chair of Listen Well Scotland, told Civil Society its income stream post-Covid-19 led to the decision to close the charity.

This included a reduction in take-up of training courses and unsuccessful core funding applications in 2023.

Harding said the board recognised it had limited sustainability as a “big in vision but small in size” stand-alone national charity.

The board therefore made the decision to look for a larger charity with similar purposes.

She said: “We are so passionate about making sure the great work of Listen Well Scotland continues. Change Mental Health is the perfect home for this vitally important work. 

“Their values of integrity, leadership and compassion are a perfect fit, along with their commitment of making sure that everyone gets the support they need, when they need and in a way which works best for them – which is exactly what Listen Well Scotland is all about.

“This new phase ensures that our work and services will live on within Change Mental Health.”

Both charities said they have worked hard to ensure that a challenge becomes an opportunity, and said the aim of allowing Listen Well Scotland to become part of the larger national charity is that more people will benefit from listening training.

Challenging times for charities

Nick Ward, chief executive at Change Mental Health, said: “These are challenging times for charities of all sizes and we are pleased to be able to step in and offer a new home for Listen Well Scotland’s vital services. 

“Together, I know we can do greater work than either of us could have done alone. In times like these, the third sector must work together to ensure a continuity of support where we can.

“We welcome Listen Well Scotland into the Change Mental Health family and reconfirm our commitment to making sure that no one needs to face mental illness alone.”

Listen Well Scotland most recently reported an income of £26,789 and expenditure of £59,785 with the Scottish charity regulator.

Meanwhile, Change Mental Health most recently reported an income of close to £5m.

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