Community Wide Listening Project Launched in Forest Row

How might it feel to be listened to without being interrupted, given unsolicited advice or argued with? 

Could you listen to someone else in this way, with respect and warmth, knowing that this is a good person doing their best even if we hold very different opinions?

A new Community wide listening project has launched in Forest Row.

The Big Listen (TBL) is an independent project which aims to create more Community cohesion and reduce isolation and loneliness. 

The simple art of listening well (and being listened to) can be the boost we need to create positive change in our lives and in the wider community. It’s a simple, safe and effective model that can be replicated in any Community where there is the will to connect more. I’m very happy to be offering it first in Forest Row (online at the moment).

The idea for The Big Listen was sparked after seeing the division caused by events like Brexit and various elections. The events of 2020 have brought about levels of anxiety and disconnection which most of us have not experienced in our lifetimes. The human spirit is amazing though and by listening in this way, we will rediscover that we have much more in common than what divides us. 

The Big Listen has grown from a model called the ‘Listening Partnership’ used to help many thousands of parents around the world give and receive kind, non-judgmental support for the tough work of parenting. As a parent and Instructor in this model I’ve experienced first-hand how this type of listening helps and wish to share it with everyone, parent or not, who would like to experience more connection and know that they are valued, supported and heard. 

TBL is a place where we can help one another safely offload whatever feelings might be weighing us down and also to celebrate the good stuff in life. We listen with full respect for each other and a strict confidentiality agreement is required to take part. There is no pressure and no expectation to share beyond your comfort level, you use your time in the way that is most helpful to you. The Big Listen is not a place to win support for your views, however valid they are.

We all want a world in which we, our families and our neighbours are safe and cared for. Listening to each other helps us to find our own best thinking for how to move forward with that. 

Currently there are two sessions of The Big Listen each week. As the project develops there will be more topic specific sessions offered. All sessions are offered for free or by donation. 

Monday evenings 7.30pm till 8.30pm and Friday mornings at 10.30am till 11.30am.

To register for any of the events please follow this link or send an email to for more information.

Thank you for listening!

Sarah Charlton