Student and Family Support
We want you to grow and flourish during your time at Trinity. Below are some of the ways in which our students can develop networks of support, many of which will outlast your time in our community.
Learning and disability support
We’re committed to supporting students with a range of additional needs. At Trinity, a specialist practitioner, Mel Lucas, can advise and support students throughout their time here. For more information about Mel’s role, see below.
Specific learning difficulties (SpLDs)
Through our Study Support Tutor, we can provide in-house screening for learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, prior to formal assessment. We also offer one-to-one support for learning strategies. Funds are available through the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) for equipment and learning support.
We’re able to offer tailored support for deaf students with help from Bristol Diocese’s Chaplain to the Deaf Community. Our Disability Advisor will help students with visual difficulties or other additional needs to gain the appropriate assessment of their needs.
Unseen disabilities and medical conditions
These include asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis and back conditions. Our Disability Advisor can help students access help they may be entitled to through the DSA and, where necessary, plan for alternative exam arrangements.
We’re committed to making what reasonable adjustments we can to our infrastructure and processes to help students with mobility difficulties to engage as fully as possible with life and learning at Trinity.
Disability Advisor and Specialist Study Support Tutor
Mel Lucas, MA, B.Ed. (hons), CEHIC, DipSpLD (Dyslexia), AMBDA
Mel is a qualified specialist teacher offering a variety of support for students with specific learning difficulties. She provides screening for dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Mel is an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA), and supports students with learning difficulties through individually tailored study skills tutorials. She has had a long career in language teaching; she has been an examiner for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and a teacher of deaf children. As Disability Advisor, Mel assists all students at Trinity with additional needs to access suitable support and, if appropriate, to apply for funding through Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).
To contact Mel, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 968 0206.
Meet our chaplains
Our chaplains offer a listening, impartial ear, as well as a willingness to pray with and for those within our community, whether you are wrestling with personal issues, or just needing a space to vent.
BAME student group
If you identify as BAME (Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic) you are welcomed to join our student-led Trinity BAME group, which meets every 3-4 weeks for lunch, plans occasional socials, and shares ideas, resources, and articles through a What’s App group.
The group has four main goals:
Firstly, this group helps prepare us for life after college. Sometimes in ministry, ethnicity may be a factor in how colleagues and congregations respond to us. Whether we like it or not, our ethnicity may matter. This is a group where we can discuss what that’s like, work through some of our struggles, and address these issues as formational issues.
2. Develop Our Calling
Secondly, this group seeks to encourage us in our calling. We are all training to be church leaders or priests, and part of that calling is to represent people. When you are in ministry there will be people who will identify with you simply because of the way you look. This presents a unique opportunity for mission, and in this group we will explore what that means in terms of our calling.
3. Broaden Our Reading
Thirdly, we’ll have a chance to broaden our theology. Often our thinking, spirituality, and practices are influenced by Western Christianity and culture. In this group, we share articles and resources by BAME scholars, which will sharpen our critical thinking and give an edge to our theological reflections and assignments. It is important for us to find our voices and to be theologically informed as we speak into contemporary issues.
4. Support / Networking
Finally, this group is a place of ongoing support, where friendships made at Trinity can continue into ministry. We’ve also struck up a dialogue with the BAME society at Bristol University and the Alternative Asians Association. As a group, we might attend some of their events and join in their conversations, hopefully bringing with us a Christian perspective.
Support for partners and children
Our students’ partners and children are a valued part of the Trinity community, and we offer many different opportunities for families to experience and enjoy college life together.
Primarily, Connect is a community of people, and our purpose is threefold:
- To provide opportunities for fellowship for partners of those in full-time study at Trinity College.
- To provide support to one another, sharing our lives together and seeking God’s transformation in our lives.
- To be a means by which our members can be equipped for their future ministry, and develop their own unique callings.
Our heart is to be a place where God can prepare us for life after Trinity.
The Connect Week
There is plenty to dip into over the course of the week at Connect. You are welcome to come along to as much or as little as you like!
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we are operating a little differently from normal, however, every Monday morning, we meet in the Trinity Chapel to worship, study the Bible and pray together. This is also a great time to socialise together and catch up on any great local discoveries you’ve made!
We have various home groups that meet weekly either online or in person, which seek to provide deeper relationships with other spouses.
We encourage all Connect members to find themselves a couple of people with whom they can form a prayer triplet/quad. We believe that they can be a valuable place for sharing your life more deeply with a couple of other members of the Connect community. They provide a safe space to share and pray with each other on a regular basis. We hope that triplets begin to form in the first couple of months of college, although the exec is more than happy to support you in finding a group.
In addition, Connect runs ‘Tea & Tots’ on campus – a stay & playgroup for Connect spouses and pre-schoolers.
We run various events throughout the year, some for just spouses, some for students and their spouses, and some for children. Events we’ve run recently include movie nights, pub trips, scavenger hunts, park/beach trips and kids-free brunch.
How is Connect run?
Connect has an Exec which seeks to support all of its members. The current Connect Exec for 2021-22 are:
Steve Miller (President), Emma Wingrove (Vice President), Danny Brothers (Treasurer), Ally Fitter (Couples Ambassador), Lucy Gowers (Parents Ambassador) and Dave Bush (Spirituality Ambassador).
Watch the video below to get to know them and hear what their roles involve.
Connect can only operate with the help of all its members! There will be many opportunities to get involved in the running of Connect over the coming year with a range of tasks. This may be setting up a room for a meeting, giving someone a lift to an event, baking a cake, bringing snacks for children, running PA for worship, helping organise a social, tidying up at the end of a meeting, running a children’s activity, helping to plan our programme of talks each term, helping to run a homegroup, leading worship, helping with prayers… the list goes on! There will be something for everyone, so we look forward to you getting involved! We have found in the past that the more you put into Connect, the more you get out of it.
If you’d like to find out more about Connect (as well as loads of helpful information about transitioning into life at Trinity) you can download the latest Connect Handbook here.
Connect also has a very active private Facebook group and Whatsapp chat for general support, socialising ideas, and local information and advice. You can also email the Connect Exec at email@example.com.
Meals and worship with students
The daily chapel and weekly Communion services are open to spouses and once a term a student leadership team runs the all-age Light Experiment specifically designed to engage your whole family. Spouses and children are always welcome at mealtimes too, for only a small cost, and we have plenty of high chairs and child-friendly plates and cutlery (please note, this may be dependent upon COVID restrictions).
Further education for spouses
We welcome all student spouses to take advantage of their time at Trinity and audit classes for free (which means you would come to the lectures without having to do any of the assessments). If you are really keen and want to take classes for credit, anyone whose spouse is studying full time is eligible for a 50 percent reduction on fees for many of our programmes, whether you do a few modules or actually enrol on an accredited course.
On-site day nursery
We have our own Ofsted-registered day nursery on campus which, as well as serving the families of Trinity students, is open to the public, so it offers a great chance to get to know other families in the local area. Muddy Boots Day Nursery offers care between 8.00 am – 6 pm, and the children of full-time Trinity students are able to attend for a significantly subsidised fee.
Tutor groups and prayer triplets
You will meet weekly for formation in a tutor group of about 8-10 people, often the students with whom you serve in your context church, and a college tutor.
The groups meet for two hours every Wednesday, dividing their time between worship and prayer, theological reflections, serving the wider community in practical ways, and building friendships together.
Prayer triplets are a key part of our community life, helping provide personal support, encouragement, and accountability for each student. These relationships often continue to provide valuable support well beyond your time at Trinity.