Virtual house where you can share your worries

TALK TO ME – Beth Flitton, right, and Beth Gourlay outside the front door of The Listening House

A MENTAL wellbeing service based in a virtual house where people can talk about the stresses of everyday life will be launched this weekend.

Beth Flitton, who lives in Old Woking, has created The Listening House to provide support for people who have been bottling up their worries.

The virtual house will feature a number of rooms for different activities, such as one-to-one talking and group sessions.

Beth said that she and her business partner Beth Gourlay, a photographer and videographer, came up with the idea of The Listening House after recognising the need for a place where people can talk about what is bothering them, however small or insignificant they might feel it is.

“We all know that everyday life can be really difficult, particularly after the year we have all just experienced,” she said.

Beth, who has lived in Woking for more than 15 years and is a leading member of Woking Amateur Operatic Society, is a project manager in healthcare. She has also been involved in self-development and met her business partner on a training course.

“We decided we wanted to develop something in that arena,” she added. “It became apparent during lockdown that people wanted to be heard.

“There are stresses and problems that we don’t feel comfortable talking to our loved ones about but don’t need the help of a trained therapist. The Listening House bridges that gap.

The map of the house from where each room can be entered

“Of course, there is a wealth of trained professionals out there, but we can often feel that our situation isn’t serious enough to warrant professional intervention, or that we just don’t want to ‘bother’ anyone.

“We have been working up to providing a service that can help others to feel supported, guided and inspired. We do not profess to be trained therapists, but we describe what we offer as ‘human beings, reaching out and connecting with other human beings’.”

As well as one-to-one talking sessions with “the Beths” there will be weekly gatherings where people can talk about what is bothering them and share their feelings and experiences.

Beth said that lockdown has helped people to realise the importance of talking to others and has also allowed people to feel more comfortable with using technology.

The Listening House launched online on Saturday 14 August and Beth said she hopes that, as pandemic restrictions are lifted further, a physical meeting place will be possible.

She said she hopes to take on more people to help run the service and also spread the concept around the country.

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