‘We totally get it’: meet the parents who dedicate their days to chatting with carers

3 mins read

Wednesday 18 August 2021

As well as being a Contact senior adviser, sleep practitioner, behavioural specialist and Makaton instructor, Shona is also mum to a disabled child.

That’s the hat she wears when she picks up the phone to call parents who’ve booked a chat via our free Listening Ear service. First and foremost, Shona is calling as a fellow parent carer who understands exactly what callers are going through.

Inspired by her Listening Ear experience and hoping to show just how valuable it can be, Shona decided to talk a bit more about the service in a video. She even shared some of her proudest moments so far – such as helping a child sleep eight hours a night rather than two; working with a mum to create an action plan for her 19-year-old son; and even helping a family finally get the DLA award they deserved. Watch below:

Over the past 12 months, Shona and her team have supported hundreds of parents by empathising with how they’re feeling, offering advice, holding their hand through tough situations, and giving them the space to vent without fear of being judged.

“You don’t have to be ringing about any particular topic. You could be just feeling a bit fed up that day and want someone to talk to. You can have a rant, you can have a cry, you can have a scream. We’ve had all of those,” Shona said.

But unlike calling a personal friend, what sets our Listening Ear team apart is their wealth of knowledge. As well as being there for you, we can give you practical advice on just about anything related to your child – such as education, health, social care, benefits and adulthood, to name just a few – and signpost you to services that may help.

“We know that as parents, sometimes it’s hard to get your opinions across. You feel like nobody is listening to you. Well, we are definitely listening to you, so don’t worry about that.”

Shona, Contact’s senior parent adviser

We also have access to Contact’s many resources for families. We can transfer you to our Family Finance Team for a full benefits check. We can refer you directly to our helpline for specialist in-depth support. We can even book you a place on workshops you would benefit from.

Listening Ear was launched to support families during the pandemic, but it has since grown beyond the limits of lockdown. The free and confidential service has helped hundreds of parents feel less alone and more validated, giving them the confidence to overcome whatever life brings their way.

Interested in booking a chat? Just visit our Listening Ear appointments page, pick a date and time that suits you, and then just sit back and wait for the phone to ring.