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Helping Christians Respond To Social Needs

Bristol Homeless Forum
Helping Vulnerable People - Training



This training is aimed at current and potential volunteers: people who have an interest, but perhaps no experience, in helping vulnerable people and those with life-disrupting problems. While our main focus is on homelessness and the problems that tend to go with it, the content is relevant to all situations where you want to help or care for people.


You will be given the core facts and principles you need to understand, and time is given to allow people to ask questions and challenge the standard answers - so participants will be expected to think! The training is delivered from a Christian perspective, but is open to everyone and does not assume that those taking part have any faith commitment.

We will supply detailed course notes, but please bring a pen.


There will be ten sessions, each delivered twice. It runs each month from September to July, apart from December. The sessions are usually on the second Wednesday of the month (at Carpenter House, the CCM building) and on the second Saturday of the month (at Trinity Tabernacle), but Share Your Faith is different.

Please aim to be with us for coffee and registration by 7.30 pm on the Wednesday evenings, or 9.45 am on Saturday mornings. On nine of the ten sessions, the training will run from 7.35 pm to 9.30 pm (Wednesdays) and 10.00 am to 1.00 pm (Saturdays), but Share Your Faith will extend over three consecutive Tuesday evenings and will run from 10.00 am until 5.00 pm on the third Saturday in May - please bring a packed lunch for this.


The cost on the day is £6 for the course notes plus £6 per session (£5 for each if you book in advance) or £40 for everything - all ten sessions and the notes. However, CCM volunteers are welcome to attend for free.

About us

This training is being arranged by the BCAN Homeless Forum (or 'BHF'). BHF works to link the people and groups serving the homeless community in and around Bristol.


For the precise dates, please see the diary pages.

  • September: Introduction - what we are aiming to do, working together with each other, working with other groups, policies, personal safety.
  • October: Personal Effectiveness - boundaries, resources, essential personal skills (such as communication and listening); ways to grow.
  • November: Connections - understanding our clients, recognising the effects of drugs and alcohol, what it is like to live on the street; what makes a difference short term and what sustains a difference long term.
  • January: Homelessness - what it is like; why people become homeless; the family; sources of help and barriers to being helped; what we can do.
  • February: Addiction - what it is like; why people become addicted and how they can get free; family and friends, sources of help, barriers to help; what we can do.
  • March: Mental Health - understanding the main areas of mental illness; addiction and mental health; sources of help, barriers to being helped; what we can do; avoiding unhelpful responses.
  • April: Faith and Social Action - different ways they have been linked; why both are needed; the place of prayer, prophecy and deliverance in helping people.
  • May: Share Your Faith - communicate what you believe in a way that works, both for you and for the people you talk with: sensitive, gentle, attractive and enjoyable; how to answer those difficult questions.
  • June: Work - the importance of work; the difficulty of getting and keeping it; what unemployment is like; why people become unemployed; schemes, organisations and programmes that help.
  • July: Supporting People - how and why people change; helping people survive through change; counselling in its many forms; alternative approaches.


If it is possible, please let us know by the previous Monday if you plan to come - but any notice you can give us is appreciated. You can just turn up on the day, but there may not be enough copies of the training notes and handouts for everyone.

Please complete the simple online booking form then, if possible, send your payment to the BCAN office. Cheques should be made payable to 'Crisis Centre Ministries'.

Alternatively, you can print the last page of the flyer and send it (with your payment, if possible) to the BCAN office.


Home Page

BCAN People

Homeless Forum

An Introduction








Road Map

Sleep Out

Christmas Closures

Share Your Faith



This page last updated: 29 March 2015
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