Meet the Listening Post volunteers

The Listening Post is a drop-in service for students, staffed by trained volunteers. You'll find us in the heart of the University at the Student Services Hub.

Come and see us between 10:00–16:00, Monday to Friday in term time.

Gillian

I was born in Cornwall and lived in St Ives. I love art. I have also worked as a Dispensing Optician in London, Brighton and Winchester. Since moving to Devon I attended Plymouth College of Art and have started making Ceramics and now I have a studio and kiln in my garden in Torpoint. I also love being in the outdoors or with my husband on our boat and we love walking in our local beautiful countryside.

Jenny

I am an inquisitive optimist, who enjoys being with people and I like a challenge. I recently joined a Latin class and also a meditation course. I have been married for 50 years and we share a loving Siamese cat and a beautiful garden. My main career was with Lloyds Bank in London and in Plymouth and the Civil Service and in between these a spell as a classroom assistant, and a magistrate.

So all in a front line position and all people-based which I enjoyed very much.

Jim

Born in London, read medicine at Oxford, career in UK and East Africa culminating in post of Consultant Physician in Plymouth for 32 years. Retired in 2010, and also worked as Magistrate for nine years. Interests include singing, teaching advanced driving, art, travel and gardening, and I have obtained an Open University degree in history since retirement. 

I value greatly the contact with younger people that the Listening Post affords me.

Maddie

I have two grown up children who have now left home, so my young German Shepherd dog takes up most of my spare time nowadays. I worked as a psychotherapist for 30 years but I am now retired. However I still enjoy listening to people, finding out about different lives and experiences.

Michael

I grew up in the UK and Australia, and followed a career as a teacher and trainer in English as a second language. I worked and lived in France, Germany, Libya, Malaysia, China and Romania before settling in Plymouth in 1996. I have taken up volunteering at the Listening Post since retirement as I find the work stimulating and challenging and the continued contact with young people and university life very rewarding.

My other interests are learning Spanish, singing in a choir, travel, photography, reading and listening to music.

Nina

I retired three years ago and missed having interaction with other people. I wanted to take up volunteering and when the listening service for students started, I felt that I would have something to offer. Since completing the training, I have covered a regular weekly session.

I take exercise in the form of dance, yoga, hiking and gardening and I am also refreshing my school girl French at a local class. 

I am hoping to travel more, and spend time with my grandsons.

Paul

I was born in Plymouth and in 1966 joined the Metropolitan Police. I retired from the police service in 1997 and worked as a consultant in interviewing skills, both with the police and commerce. In 2004 I was appointed a magistrate, or J.P., on the Plymouth Bench and retired from that in 2014.

Post-retirement I have helped, and continue to help, various voluntary organisations

Pauline

Born in the North East, became a teacher, retired as a special needs teacher in 2011. 

Married a Royal Marine and came to the South West in the 70’s and stayed. 

I enjoy the theatre, dance and keep fit and I have a wicked sense of humour!

Sue

I retired from practice nursing approximately ten years ago. I married my second husband in 2001 and between us we have five children and six grandchildren. I have been a Victim Support volunteer for nine years before joining the Listening Post.

I hope that my nursing and voluntary work plus all the ups and downs of family life provide me with the skills and understanding to enable me to support students.

Venetia

I have a background in nursing, school nursing, health visiting and as a lecturer here at the University. Since retirement I ran a baby, mother and toddler group in my village, was a member of the local C.A.B and chief steward at Port Eliot State. I have always enjoyed the company of young people, especially when school nursing. In my spare time I enjoy swimming in the sea, sailing and water aerobics.