Project Details

Woman holding a sparkler.

7 Cups of Tea

Free, anonymous and confidential chat with trained volunteer listeners

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @7_Cups_of_Tea

Organisation URL:

  • Community Engagement
  • Health
  • Internet
  • Social Software

In times of need, finding someone to talk to who is impartial yet compassionate can be hard. Friends and family are often too close to the problem, while professional therapy can seem out of reach, lengthy and expensive.

Psychologist Glen Moriarty realised that a friendly ear is sometimes all that’s needed. With the help of Sheila Swanson, a military wife, Glen set up 7 Cups of Tea. The online emotional support service connects users to volunteers who have completed an online Active Listening training programme. These are ordinary people looking to help others in a practical way.

Through the website or mobile app, users choose to be immediately connected to a listener for urgent help, or to browse listener profiles to find the right fit. All conversations are private and confidential, and as well as one-on-one exchanges, users can opt to talk to multiple listeners at the same time. A discussion board and forums allow for further ways for users to get help.

Starting with just two listeners – Glen and Sheila – demand for the service exploded once word got out. Within just one year, the community grew to 17,000 users. After completing the training programme, voluntary listeners immediately started helping others, honing their skills and sharing best practices.

7 Cups of Tea’s success can be attributed to an innovative self-improvement model. From training to leadership roles, volunteers have taken the lead. Through a listener-only forum, new listeners are welcomed, good listeners are acknowledged and struggling listeners can turn to a Peer Support Group. The result is a powerful, welcoming community waiting for those who need a friendly ear to call.

Become a listener or connect with one for a chat by visiting

Image courtesy of 7 Cups of Tea

Last updated: 23rd of August, 2015

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