Return to study courses!


The University of Bristol, is offering two 14-week courses starting in October, Changing Education and Understanding Society.

Both are taught 1 night per week and aimed at those without conventional prior qualification.

The course fee for each is £350 but a bursary of up to £250 is available.

Changing Education
Did you enjoy your own time at school? Why was that? Do aspects of the education system excite or frustrate you? Share your ideas and participate in classroom debates on education, explore why the system is the way it is - the politics and history that got us to where we are - and consider how it could be different, while developing your skills in forming an argument.

This course aims to be a lively, positive and confidence-building experience for anyone over 18 returning to study. A particular welcome is extended to those who didn’t much enjoy their own schooling at the time! The course will draw on participants' and tutors' experiences, social and conventional media, research projects and other sources, to inform our debate and discussions in class. It offers the opportunity to progress to an undergraduate degree or other further study.

Find out more:

Understanding Society

This course is for anyone interested in making sense of the society that we live in and how social and public policies can make a difference to people's lives. It's an interactive course, covering a wide range of topics, from social inequalities, to the general election; September 11th to the justice system; protests, the environment, and what it really means to be part of society. The course will draw on participants' and tutors' experiences, social and conventional media, research projects, and a wide range of other sources, to inform our debate and discussions in class. There will also be opportunities to develop your study skills – including note-taking, essay writing and participating in discussion.

Find out more:


Smart Energy GB in Communities - free training for organisations

07730 760828


National Energy Action has re-launched Smart Energy GB in Communities for 2018 and is currently offering free, accredited one-day training sessions for local organisations.

A new course in Bristol has been booked for Wednesday 26th September, venue tbc.

After the training course delegates will:

  • understand the role of Smart Energy GB and the campaign
  • understand the smart meter rollout and feel confident to respond to householder queries and challenges and know where to source additional information
  • be able to explain what a smart metering system does and how it works
  • understand and be able to use the in-home display, and know how to explain its functions to other people
  • know some of the barriers which may be faced by this year’s target group and how to overcome them
  • understand the smart meter installation process
  • understand the obligations and responsibilities held by the energy companies and their installers to protect householders throughout the smart meter rollout

Training this year is being offered to organisations who support  people over 60 (including those who do not have internet access) and/ or people who are severe or profoundly D/deaf as part of their work.

Smart meters will be replacing traditional gas and electricity meters in people’s homes between now and 2020, this upgrade to our energy system will help householders understand more about their energy use as the smart meter comes with an in-home display which will show usage in pounds and pence, making it easier to understand where appliances could be wasting energy and compare suppliers to get a better deal. It will also help tackle the issue of inaccurate bills based on estimated readings as the smart meter sends your meter readings automatically to the supplier.

NEA believes that smart metering has the potential to provide real benefits for vulnerable and low income householders, but only if these individuals are effectively engaged and supported throughout the process.

As well as training, we can also offer support with content for newsletters, or other tailored assistance e.g. support with shadowing or mentoring in advance of a partner going on to deliver a programme of activity – regional support can be very bespoke and essentially just looks to respond to the needs of the partner to enable them / equip them with tools and knowledge to ultimately assist their service users.

For those who undertake training we are asking two things; to let us know the number of people you plan to reach (and what activities they propose to reach them), and to hand out consumer surveys where possible.

Please get in touch if you are interested in the free training available on 26th September.


Men in Pubs - focus group for men 65+ in the Bristol area



Do you have a story to tell about pubs?

If you are:

  • Male.
  • Over 65 years old.
  • Live in the Bristol area, and
  • Have a story to tell about a local pub.

We would like to invite you to take part in our research project.

We are a team of researchers from the University of Bristol. We are holding a group discussion about how local pubs could provide an important social space for older men and help to reduce loneliness.

The group discussion will take place Friday 27th June 2018, 10am. We expect the discussion to last for 1-2 hours. Lunch will be provided, and you will also be given a £20 voucher to say thank you for your time. Please note, this will be an alcohol-free event.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Paul Willis by phone: 0117 3310640, by email:, or by post: 8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ.


Volunteer Week on Bristol Ferry


To Celebrate Volunteer Week 2018 the Bristol Ferry Boats are offering cheap prices to all Volunteers in Bristol! So please take a chance to pop down to the Harbour and make the most of this offer!


Please see POSTER atttached for you to Circulate and distribute as wide as possible to all Volunteers and Organisations who involve volunteers!


On Friday 1st June our volunteer team will be visiting organisations on the Harbour to start collecting some Volunteer stories, we hope to create a piece of Bunting which collects quotes from your Volunteers. So please let me know if you’d like us to visit you that day.


1st Dings Beavers and Cubs open evening!

07947 751512

The Scout Association is the UK biggest all gender youth organisation running a range of activities for children and adults between the ages of 6-25 years old. 1st Dings Beavers and Cubs group is for children aged between six and ten and a half, and runs from 5.30pm-6.30pm on Thursday's at Hannah More Primary School, just behind Temple Meads Station. We are holding an open evening on Thursday 19th April from 5pm to 7pm, where you can find our more about scouting, register your interest, and try out some fun activities! There's also an opportunity for those over the age of 18 to find out more about volunteering with the Scouts.

You can email or call 07947 751512 for more information, and we look forward to seeing you there!


Care & Support West Care Awards 2018

07931 167710

Nominations are open for the Care & Support West Care Awards, supported by Bristol, South Glos, B&NES and North Somerset Councils. This is your chance to nominate a person, or a team, or an organisation who really make a difference to your life or to the life of someone you know or care for.

Social Care is a beleaguered sector, with cost pressures and a poor media image which is completely at odds with the great work performed day in and day out. Show that their work is valued and help us to celebrate these valuable people.

You can find out more here: You can see a video of the Awards Dinner last year and see all of the winners, plus there are links to the nomination process, with information on the award categories and judging criteria. You can e-mail or call me if you have further questions.

For information, the Award Categories are:

Front Line Staff

Ancillary Support Worker (Chef/Cleaner/Handyman, Driver )

Care Home worker

Domiciliary Care worker

Supported Living worker

Day Services  worker

Activities Organiser

Care Trainer



Personal Assistant

Apprentice (Health or Social Care)


Care Home Registered Manager

Domiciliary Care Registered Manager

Supported Living Manager

Specialist Care development

Dementia Care

Palliative Care/End of Life Care

Mental Health

Learning Disability

Older People

Physical and Sensory Disabilities


Residential Home of the Year

Nursing Home of the Year

Supported Living Org of the Year

Dom Care Org of the Year

Employer of the Year





Collaborative PhD opportunity with Bristol Uni & the Network


PhD Opportunity: Postgraduate Residency with ‘the Network’

Researchers from Bristol University and The Network[i] are excited to announce an opportunity to study a PhD and deliver action research and/or engaged arts-based research as part of a four-year community development project in the city of Bristol. We will support an individual with appropriate expertise to apply for full PhD funding, based on a proposal that is co-designed between community partners at the Network, academic supervisors in the relevant discipline, and the applicant. We offer an opportunity to explore academic study while being grounded in an outward-focused, exciting social project, at the same time that we invite the potential applicant to infuse community development with the energy of reflexive critique and emerging scholarship.


The Network Project is a collaboration between Barton Hill Settlement, Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Somali Resource Centre and St Werburgh’s City Farm. Over the next four years, the project will bring together residents around common causes and ideas, support the creation of community-led networks, and co-develop sustainable solutions to challenges faced by people living in Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill.

The broader austerity context marks a challenging time for the most deprived communities within Bristol as vital public services are cut and home ownership becomes increasingly unattainable, especially for those on low incomes[ii]. Meanwhile, depression and suicide amongst youth is at an all time high in the UK[iii] and those in the poorest parts of the city can experience life expectancy 10 years less than other parts of the city[iv]. Forced to save money, City Councils are needing to relinquish public assets such as buildings and green space to the private sector. Using Community Organising and Asset-based methodologies for community development, the Network offers a bottom-up approach to engaging the community, prioritizing those marginalized with new processed of urban gentrification and redevelopment. This approach provides an important opportunity for community members to influence policy and practice as well as for a range of exciting and inspiring activities across the usual social divides.

The Network are seeking a PhD researcher to become a part of their team, so as to bring critical reflection and theoretical innovation to the heart of this experimental social project. We envisage an embedded approach to research, where the proposed researcher will spend some time each week in residence within the organization, while also completing their training at the university and engaging with wider debates in their chosen area. We hope that the collaboration will also lead to shared understandings of how communities are responding to systemic pressures such as austerity, privatization of public space, processes of gentrification and Brexit, as well as what forms of intersectional action might strengthen community capacities. Interest from students wishing to explore an arts-based response (eg. film, performance, visual arts) to these questions is welcomed as well as approaches linked with the social sciences and humanities.

Person specification:

We are looking for a socially-engaged researcher who wishes to deepen their skills in research as well as take part in an outward focused project with a range of diverse communities. Some experience of working with communities or in the third sector is desirable, and good communication skills are essential.

In order to apply for the PhD funding, you will need to have completed a Master’s degree in a relevant area of the humanities or social sciences. If you have not completed modules in the research methods that you propose to use, you may be asked to take extra courses in the first year of your study.


We invite expressions of interest from individuals who would be interested to co-design a research agenda to explore these themes in the form of a PhD project. If you meet the person specification above, please send us a brief outline (1 - 2 sides of A4) telling us why you would like to pursue this option; what your approach would be; and any relevant experience that you have. You are also welcome to raise questions for us!

We will respond to all expressions of interest. Following informal meetings we will support the most suitable candidate to write a proposal for funding for either the Arts and Humanities Research Council ( or the Economics and Social Science Research Council ( University of Bristol Scholarships are also available if you would be studying as an international student.

Please check your eligibility for these funding schemes prior to expressing your interest.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Monday 18th Dec 2018 at midday and interviews on Thursday 21st December. The deadline for the submission of proposals to the AHRC is the 11th Jan 2018 and/or ESRC is 30th January 2018.

Please send your proposals and CVs to and







Understanding Society: A Pathway to Further Study


Understanding Society: A Pathway to Further Study

This course is for anyone interested in making sense of the society that we live in and how social and public policies can make a difference to people's lives.

It's an interactive course, covering a wide range of topics, from social inequalities, to the general election; September 11th to the justice system; protests, the environment, and what it really means to be part of society. The course will draw on participants' and tutors' experiences, social and conventional media, research projects, and a wide range of other sources, to inform our debate and discussions in class. There will also be opportunities to develop your study skills – including note-taking, essay writing and participating in discussion.

One evening per week from Wednesday 4th October 2017.

To find out more and download an application form:


The course is offered by the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol


Riders wanted for Orchid Nightrider 2017

0203 745 7310

Orchid is a male cancer charity that supports men that have been diagnosed with testicular, penile and prostate cancer. We have a limited number of charity places in Nightrider Bristol on 1st July 2017 available on offer for £10 (saving an amazing £29 off of the current registration fee of £39!)

The sun is shining, the sky is blue so it's time to get your bike out, get fit, have fun and help us make a difference. Full support, back up and regular break stops are provided throughout the night and a well-earned breakfast and medal at the finish.

Find out more at


10 Week Course Changing Times & Evolving Cultures


A 10 week course which explores, how we are all impacted by ‘differences’. This is a rare opportunity to engage in some challenging, sensitive and controversial topics within a safe and supportive environment.

·       Exploring cultural assumptions and prejudices
·       Marriage/partnerships from various perspectives
·       Female Genital Mutilation  (FGM)
·       Working with refugees and asylum seekers
·       Gender and Sexuality
·       Diversity within Islam
·       Mental health in the context of cultural difference

Each morning will consist of a theoretical seminar, an opportunity to practice your listening skills and a process group to explore the above issues.


Counsellors/psychotherapists, social workers, mental health professionals, individuals from statutory and non-statutory services, individuals from the third sector, teachers, medical professionals, those working in the care industry, and anyone interested in the above topics.


·       The opportunity for personal development and increasing self-awareness in the context of cultural difference.
·       The ability to respond more sensitively to a diverse client base by learning key listening and counselling skills within a Humanistic therapeutic framework
·       A development of multi-cultural competences which will help you to accommodate diversity in the working and personal environment.


This is a 10 week course that will run on a Friday morning: 10.00am – 1.00pm, from 20th Jan – 24th March 2017.


Barton Hill Settlement, Barton Hill, 43 Ducie Rd, Bristol, Avon BS5 0AX.
There is plenty of on-street parking in the roads around the Settlement.
Light refreshments will be available.

The course costs £275 per person, a £50 deposit is required to secure your place.
Your acceptance of a place is subject to your suitability.  There will be two places for students/trainees at £200 on a first come first serve basis.


Please contact me on the details below: or phone on 07480943378.

Ounkar Kaur
MSc, Dip. Counselling, MBACP (Accred). UKRCP Reg. Ind. Practitioner.
Ounkar is currently a consultant with FORWARD, which is committed to gender equality and safeguarding the rights of African girls and women. She worked for The Refugees and Asylum Seekers Counselling Service with Womankind (Bristol). She has a small private practice in Bristol and is an accredited Race Equality Trainer.

LouAnne is in private practice in Bristol.  She has facilitated workshops on racism issues with both a UKCP committee and with a small community group. She has had a very diverse history, having lived on 5 different continents before the age of 20.  She is especially keen to work with issues of 'difference' in more depth and interested in co-facilitating this course and gain further understanding.



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