Cookies information uses cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Close banner

Exeter Community Wellbeing – World Listening Day

Published: 17 July 2020

Exeter Wellbeing Blog 12 Exeter Community Wellbeing Blog

World Listening Day is observed this year on Saturday 18 July – tomorrow! The Wellbeing Exeter Community Builders, who are an integral part of the Exeter Community Wellbeing response to the Covid crisis, decided that a single day to mark the importance of listening isn’t enough. In light of this, they have expanded this international awareness day into a whole month of activities to listen to the people living and working in their wards.

The Community Builders would usually use this week to be present in community spaces to open a conversation and listen to people in their neighbourhoods. Social distancing measures have required yet another creative way of working, and though some group work can be undertaken in open spaces with a limited number of people, this approach alone could leave many voices unheard.

Laura Robinson of Exeter Community Initiatives coordinates the work of the Wellbeing Exeter Community Builders. She says, “The Community Builders are taking this as an opportunity and will be using the coming weeks to reset and reframe our work and ask questions of the neighbourhoods we work in. We are using the ‘Four Rs’ to kick start conversations and support residents in creating opportunities for positive action in their community.”

The 4 Rs

  • Return: What or who have you really missed during this time? It may not have been what you were expecting to miss! What are you looking forward to returning to?
  • Retain: What have you really appreciated about the last couple of months and would like to keep? For example, people looking out for each other, creativity, new hobbies, healthy habits like daily walks, online exercise using the car less?
  • Re-think: How could we do things differently in light of this, as individuals or as acommunity? If you have enjoyed the local aspect - getting to know neighbours, going to local parks & shops, using local Facebook groups and WhatsApp groups - would you like to get ‘more involved’ locally?
  • Radical: What changes would you like to see going forward? No idea is a silly idea!

Listening to each other is so important in these fast changing times

World Listening Day has come at a pivotal moment this year, as we move out of some of the most challenging months we have experienced collectively for a generation. This is a really significant opportunity to take stock of everything we’ve learned over the Covid crisis and find out what communities need now, in this moment, and to move out of lockdown.

This focus on listening is a daily part of a Community Builder’s role; through this the Builders can assist with connecting people and ideas across the local area and city. Community Builders to engage residents through face to face chats, email and social media as well as sharing the message through community groups and conversations between neighbours. They are working even harder now to make sure that social isolation and the ‘digital divide’ – after all, not EVERYONE is in constant touch with their inbox or Facebook! - are no barrier to communication.

Ebbie Peters, Community Builder for Pinhoe, says, “It's really heartening to see neighbours strengthening those connections made during lockdown. It's been a challenging few months, but it's been amazing to see how communities have pulled together. Now lockdown is easing there is an opportunity to reflect & think about some of the positive things that have come out of the Covid-19 crisis, about changes we would to see in the future and the four Rs - Retain, Return, Re-think & Radical.”

If you would like to join in with the conversation about the 4 Rs and the future of your community and city, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with people and get involved, to share your stories or to listen to others. You can find your local Wellbeing Exeter Community Builder by clicking visiting the Wellbeing Exeter website the  or by emailing

Exeter Community Wellbeing
To request support, as an individual or a community group, get in touch with Exeter Community Wellbeing:
Phone: 01392 265000
Lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Exeter Community Wellbeing is co-ordinated by a team including Wellbeing Exeter partners, Devon Community Foundation, Exeter Community Initiatives and Exeter City Council. Funding partners include Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Sport England.

Share this page on...