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Christmas Covid project

Listening Ear started preparing its Christmas Covid-19 hampers. These are to be distributed on Monday afternoon/ evening. More updates will come as we get everything in place.

Thank you to the National Lottery community fund for supporting us in this project.



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An evening with Danny Kinahan

A great evening with Danny Kinahan NI Veterans Commissioner. Danny spoke on growing up, joining the army, the Hypepark bomb, coping with the loss of friends, his time at Christies and then his different political offices. The conversation then moved onto his current role with its plans and targets. This topic expanded into the military covenant, legacy and mental health. The conversation finished with his hopes and plans for the future.

At this point a question and session was opened. The items raised ranged from housing points for Veterans, benefits for Veterans, Soldier F, legacy and the support network available for military Veterans.

Thank you Danny for an honest conversation


A  happy ending

Thank you to our client who asked us to share this post. Listening Ear is here to support and assist you.


I can't tell you how walking through the doors to the Listening Ear changed my life (literally!!) .

I went in sat down and burst into tears , sorry lol.

I really was at my wit's end mental health taking a battering big time , living in private rental I couldn't afford and getting absolutely no where with Housing Ex , being offered sheltered accommodation and one bed flats .

Listening Ear advised me of all my rights and although I don't receive PIP I still had medical needs points that I never knew existed ! I signed a form to let them deal with housing ex instead of dealing with them as I really didn't understand my offers , then I was offered this stunning housing association apartment , I really can't believe how lucky I am , I can honestly say I would never have been offered it without their help .

Now I'm back in the Coole where I was born and raised and am so so happy .

I feel like this is the start of me living again instead of existing and I'd advise anyone struggling just to give them a wee call to see if they can give you any advice or help .

Thank you from the bottom of my heart xxxc

Zoom Meeting with First Minister

On the 18th October 2020 Listening Ear took part in the Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal zoom meeting with Arlene Foster, First Minister.

Over the course of the meeting the Listening Ear members raised concerns with the lack of perinatal care in Northern Ireland, special educational needs, mental health and wraparound child care during the COVID-19 emergency.

The First Minister acknowledged that approximately 3000 children had been impacted by the closing of wraparound services while private daycare had remained open.

The First Minister advised that she would ensure that the items raised over the course of the meeting would be passed on to the relevant departments.

Karen Phillips from Listening Ear stated that the meeting had been very constructive and positive.

The meeting was organised by Dalriada and attended by Listening Ear, Abbey Allsorts, Surestart, Barnardo’s, Parent Champions, Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal and NHSCT Community Mental Health.

Donations to Rathcoole FC teams

Listening Ear presented training nets and shin guards to Rathcoole FC 2014's. The equipment will help develop the stars of tomorrow.

Listening Ear presenting Rathcoole FC with shin guards training equipment footballs and sanitizer, pleasure to help support a young sports team in our community.

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Aimee Sticker launch

The 10th September seen the official launch of the Aimee sticker in support of the Children’s Hospice. The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Jim Montgomery officially launched the Aimee sticker campaign. The launch was attended by Councillor Robert Foster, Listening Ear Officers and Abbey Allsorts members.

The Aimee sticker was the idea of Michelle Wylie as a way of raising much needed funds for the Children’s Hospice. Michelle’s daughter Aimee has a life limiting condition and multiple complex needs. The Polymicrogria means that Aimee must battle uncontrollable epilepsy, but the smile she has on her face warms the hearts of everyone that meets her. Aimee has been cared for by the Children’s Hospice in the past and Michelle wanted to raise funding to help them continue with the great work they are doing.

Michelle Wylie has been an advocate for changing places for those with disabilities to ensure those requiring these services have dignity, privacy and hygiene. In 2018 Michelle successfully challenged a four star hotel on their facilities and the hotel introduced necessary changes.

Aimee and Michelle are both members of Abbey Allsorts, based in the Dunanney Centre Rathcoole. At the launch Jillian Kettley, Treasurer of Abbey Allsorts, said “When Michelle approached us with the idea for the Fundraising the whole group thought it was a brilliant idea and wanted to support it”. Michelle contacted Listening Ear seeking assistance to co-ordinate the sale of the stickers and this was agreed immediately. Karen Phillips, Secretary of Listening Ear, spoke at the launch stating that “this was a great initiate and hoped that significant funding could be raised”. Brian Kerr, Chair of Listening Ear, said that” it was incredibly positive to see peer lead initiatives being developed for the betterment of the Community and congratulated Michelle on this campaign.”

The Aimee stickers are available from Listening Ear (Tel: 02895085934) at a cost of £5 and £1 postage. All profits will be donated to the Children’s hospice.

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Slow cookers & Cook Books

Councillor Jim Montgomery Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council presented slow coolers and cook books to Listening Ear this evening. The visit was supported by Councillor Robert Foster.

These cookers and books will go to families in need. If you know of a family please contact the office.

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Listening Ears

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Jim Montgomery presented Listening Ear certificates OCN Level 2 to the successful candidates from the first course held in the Dunanney Centre.

It is positive for the community to have more trained peers.


School Uniform Recycling Scheme


Listening Ear has taken the lead in the School Uniform recycling scheme in the Rathcoole area. If you would like to recycle a uniform please contact our office.

DFC Hampers: Covid-19

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The final DFC  hampers have been delivered. In total 2470 DFC and 400 emergency hampers have been delivered by the volunteer driversover the last 17 weeks. Thiks has made a difference to the community and shows what can be done when the community works together. 

A positive story for the area.

Thank you to the volunteers, a job well done

Supporting the Community

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Listening Ear donated grow boxes to Foxes den to allow the children to grow their own vegetables.

We also donated toys musical instruments, sweets, crisps and drinks to seven childrens street parties within the Rathcoole estate. 

Mayors visit


Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Mayor Alderman John Smyth presented a certificate to Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal to recognise the work undertaken during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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